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  • Statue of LibertyStatue of Liberty New York, New York
    The Statue of Liberty, is officially called Liberty Enlightening the World, and was dedicated on October 28, 1886, given to the people of the United States, to commemorate the first hundred years of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and to solidify the friendship that developed during the American Revolution. The statue represents a woman, wearing a stola, sandals and radiant crown, trampling on a broken chain, carrying a torch in her raised right hand and a tabula ansata, with the actual date of the signing inscribed on her left arm. She grandly and proudly stands on Liberty Island in the middle of New York harbor, the huge welcoming sight that has brought so many millions of visitors, immigrants and returning Americans that all traveled here by ship, just as the very first visitors and settlers did when they came to this country for freedoms; of religion, of speech, of press, of the right to bear arms, and so many other unalienable rights that seem to have been trampled on by various groups and ideologies that have trodden out those liberties that they want, but are unwilling to have other "aliens" obtain that same right of liberty; forgetful of their own ancestry, since there were no Americans until the country started that day in 1776, and even then, so many of our ancestors had to shed blood and lose their lives so that anyone can protest the injustice that is attempted by persons or governments. Frederic Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the magnificent statue and even got a US patent. Maurice Koechlin, the chief engineer for Gustave Eiffel's engineering company and the designer of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, would be the engineer of the insides. The pedestal was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. Eugene Viollet-le-Duc was the person that decided copper would be used in the construction and the final adoption of the repousse technique, that has a malleable metal hammered on the reverse side. Liberty is made of a sheathing of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel, which was originally going to be puddled iron, except for the flame of the torch, which is coated with gold leaf; that was also originally different since it was made of copper with the glass panes being added later, so that people could go up to that area and look out over the fantastic harbor and city. The rectangular stone pedestal is shaped in an eleven pointed star, with the statue rising up 151 feet, included on the pedestal adds another 154 feet, making it a total of 305 feet high. Liberty is the most recognizable icon in the this great country and it is known throughout the world as such. It is all part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument that is taken care of by the National Park Service; and includes Ellis Island.

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  • Grand Central TerminalGrand Central Terminal New York, New York
    Grand Central Terminal (GCT) is called Grand Central Station, or just Grand Central, and it is the biggest terminal in the country. It is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City and was constructed by and named after the New York Central Railroad during the incredible heyday of long-distance passenger train travel in this nation. It is the longest train station in the world by the number of its platforms, which is 44, and they have 67 train tracks that run alongside of them. The platforms are located on two levels, both of them are below the street level, with 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower. Including those tracks and the ones in the rail yard, there are more than 100; and when the Long Island Rail Road's new station is finished below the levels now, that will be 75 tracks and 48 platforms, covering an area of 48 acres. This magnificent terminal takes care of the daily commuters from around the region, with the Metro-North Railroad going to Westchester, Dutchess and Putnam counties in New York state, and the New Haven and Fairfield counties in Connecticut. It has been named the Grand Central Terminal since 1913, but it has been referred to as Grand Central Station for the majority of the people using it. Grand Central Station is really the name of the post office next door, and the previous rail station that was located here before, which had been called the New York City Subway station as well.  The Main concourse is the center of the station, and it is huge as you can see, almost always filled with people during the daytime, with the ticket booths still being retained, although ticket vending machines were introduced long ago. A huge American flag was hung there just a couple of days after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, with the main information booth in the center of the concourse. It has become a perennial meeting place, with the four faced clock sitting atop the booth making it the most recognizable place in the terminal to meet. Each face of the clock is made of opal, and Sotheby's and Christie's have guestimated the value to be around $10 to $20 million. Inside the marble and brass pagoda, there is a secret door that hides a spiral staircase going down to the lower level information booth. The clock that hangs outside and faces 42nd Street houses the biggest piece of Tiffany glass in the world and is encompassed by sculptures of Mercury, Minerva and Hercules that were carved by John Donnelly company, and that were designed by French sculptor Jules-Felix Coutan. When this sculpture was unveiled in 1914, it was thought to be the biggest sculptural grouping in the world, rising 48 feet from the building.

January 11, 2011