Conquering glazing challenges in Lady Liberty’s crown
The basics: Glass companies working to bring the Statue of Liberty’s crown interior up-to-date with fire regulation codes faced notable challenges completing the project before the July 4 opening ceremony. New Jersey glass companies JE Berkowitz LP and SRS Inc. had to re-engineer the existing glass in Lady Liberty’s crown for structural soundness, adding railings and safety glass to the helical staircase from the top of the pedestal to the crown. The teams had to meet extremely condensed timelines, coordinate limited access and off-hour schedules, and provide rapid turnaround of samples and product.
The project also required using only American-made products. “This meant even going as far as getting the screws and other hardware custom-made because [the products that were] required were not made in the USA anymore,” says Rich Blatman, partner at SRS. The glass also had to be hand carried from the fifth level to the seventh level and then up a 20-foot helical staircase to the crown for installation.
The players: Glass fabricator, JE Berkowitz LP, Pedricktown, N.J.; general contractor, Kalimex Inc., Ocean View, N.J.; handrail fabricator and installer, SRS Inc., Metuchen, N.J.
The glass and systems: 1 3/16-inch laminated glass lites, consisting of a lite of 3/8-inch clear tempered glass, a .060-inch clear PVB interlayer, and a 3/8-inch clear tempered lite with 1-1/4-inch holes for installation. The system is designed to meet small missile requirements. 316L alloy stainless steel handrails and custom brackets, with glass lites mounted vertically behind the handrails, are held by metal clamps to serve as fall-through protection. The glass was fabricated with polished edges, holes and shapes.