Around the world, New York is known by many different names. From “the city that never sleeps” to “the big apple,” people across the globe discuss it’s bright lights and the hope it offers. As with all things, New York City has evolved to fit the needs of its ever-growing populace. From past to present, New York City remains a shimmering flare of assurance for all who stand with democracy. As the world changes and progresses, New York structures and monuments prevail presenting each new generation insight into the past and inspiration for the future.
The New York Society Library
Originating in 1700, the New York Society Library is the oldest cultural institution in the United States. It began as “The Public Library of New-York.” After the abandonment of the public library, several men requested permission to take over the building to establish a library entitled “The New York Society Library.” While successful at first, the revolutionary war halted its progress; the library was re-established as the war ended. As businesses crowded the area, the library faced numerous demands to move location. In 1840, the new property stood on the corner of Broadway and Leonard Street.
The library now sits in the renovated mansion of John S. Rogers which was purchased in 1936. In 1967, the building was recognized as an NYC landmark and was then listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Featuring a collection of 300,000 volumes, the library is a non-profit organization supported by its membership fees and donations.
The New York State Department of Transportation
The New York State Department of Transportation is one of the most extended roles in NY state government. In 1777, this department began reviewing lands that were entrusted to the state. Starting in 1817 and finished in 1825, the Erie Canals were built which lead to the establishment of the Department of Public Works.
In 1907, the Public Service Commission assumed responsibility for the economic and safety regulation of privately operated transportation, and by 1923, the Department of Public Works evolved to a unified sector with responsibility for highways, canals, and public buildings.
The NY State Department of Transportation was formed in 1967 to tackle the state’s transportation system and the transportation development coordination. The NY transportation network now consists of 12 major ports, over 130 public transit operators, over 80 million passengers per day, more than 113,000 highway miles, 17,400 bridges, and more.
The Statue of Liberty
In 1865, Édouard de Laboulaye proposed the idea of a monument for the U.S. arguing that honoring the U.S. ideals of freedom and democracy would strengthen the case for the return of democracy to France. With the help of his friend, a sculptor, he turned his proposal into reality when he announced the project and formation of the fundraising arm in September of 1875. The Statue was completed in France in July of 1884 and arrived in the NY Harbor in June of 1885. The reassembly of the Statue on the new pedestal took four months time. On October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland as a gift from the people of France.
On October 15, 1924, the Statue was declared a National Monument by a Presidential Proclamation. In 1933, the care of the National Monument was transferred to the National Park Service. In 1982, fundraising for the restoration of the Statue begun. The $87 million fund was the most successful public-private partnership in American history to date. On July 5, 1986, the newly restored Statue reopened to the public for its centennial celebration during Liberty Weekend.