- FOLLOW-UP (August 28, 2022): Three years ago today, Mayor Gary McCarthy announced that Lady Liberty had been relocated to the SE corner of Union St. and Erie Boulevard, where the Statue still stands, with no marker or signage identifying it or its source. And, ten months ago, on November 8, 2021, the Schenectady Council passed a resolution recommending that our Lady Liberty replica be returned to Liberty Park. If you had hoped the Mayor would take advantage of that opportunity to do the right thing, after cleaning and refurbishing the statue, you’ve joined the masses of Schenectady residents frustrated with Gary McCarthy. What next? How would you finish Lady Liberty’s phone call to our Mayor?
- As the designated maker of legislation and policy in Schenectady, the Council should have explicitly directed the return of Lady Libery to Liberty Plaza, with a deadline.
- Update (November 5, 2021): This is the Best Lady Liberty News In Years [if accepted by the Mayor]. The Resolution mentioned in the next paragraph, recommending that the Mayor return our Lady Liberty Replica to Liberty-Gateway Plaza has been placed on the Agenda of the Nov. 8, 2021 City Council Meeting. update (Nov. 8. 2021) Today’s Gazette article underscores the obvious: This controversy is not over until Mayor McCarthy decides Gateway-Liberty Park is the appropriate place for Lady Liberty. The Council has given him a graceful solution, let’s hope he takes the opportunity.
- (November 1, 2021): This evening, all five sitting members of the Schenectady City Council stated support for the return of Lady Liberty to Her Home at Liberty/Gateway Plaza. Their vote at a Council Committees Meeting calls for the drafting of a Resolution supporting the return. If drafted, the item should be on the Council Meeting next week, November 8, 2021. Mayor McCarthy left the room before the item was reached on the Agenda. His cooperation would be much appreciated.
. . Help end this disgrace. Demand respect for Lady Liberty
. . BRING LADY LIBERTY HOME FROM EXILE
Update (Oct. 30, 2021): THANK YOU to all who attended the demonstration, and attracted so many horn beeps. [photo by Peter R. Barber, for Daily Gazette, A9, Oct. 29, 2021). Our efforts surely helped to get the Statue of Liberty placed on the City Council Committees Agenda for Monday, Nov, 2, 2021; Item #9. You can observe the meeting, at 5:30 PM, City Hall Room 110. Please contact City Council Members to ask that they act to put Lady Liberty back at Her Home, Liberty Park. Contact you favorite Council members, and/or reach the whole Council by emailing City Clerk Samanta Mykoo, at SMykoo@schenectadyny.gov.
- RALLY on October 28, 2021, at 4 PM, at the statue’s Location in Exile (Union St. at Erie Blvd.). The Demonstration starts at 3 PM, and through the rush hour, allies of Liberty will be demonstrating at that corner, with signs and sighs.
- Click the thumbnail on the right for the Rally Flyer and please share it.
- CONTACT Mayor McCarthy and City Council Members to demand that Lady Liberty, our History, and Honest Government be respected.
- Reach the Council through our City Clerk, at SMykoo@schenectadyny.gov;
- Try to reach the Mayor at MayorsOffice@schenectadyny.gov
- Share this posting with this short URL: tinyurl.com/RespectLL
. . Left: scenes of Lady Liberty in Liberty Park (Sept. 2016) .. .
For 67 years, our Schenectady community honored and respected the Lady Liberty replica that graced the Park named for the statue, Liberty Park. In August 2017, the Statue was removed from Liberty Park for its protection while the Park was being expanded into a new Gateway Plaza. We all thought the Lady would be kept safe and returned to Her Home (fully refurbished) when Plaza construction was complete. That is what the public wanted and the Mayor and City Council promised when they approved the Comprehensive Plan for Gateway Plaza in April 2013.
Instead, backroom decisions were made, by Mayor Gary R. McCarthy, with no input from the Council or public, to exile Lady Liberty from Her Park. When the public clamored for the return of Lady Liberty from storage in a City warehouse, City Council did nothing and the Mayor stalled for more than a year, before dumping the Replica unrepaired at a most inappropriate location: The northeast corner of Union Street and Erie Boulevard, amidst eyesores, and with no signage, landscaping, foot-traffic, or lighting.
. . WE MUST FINALLY END THIS SHAMEFUL DISRESPECT FOR LADY LIBERTY, PUBLIC OPINION, and OUR PLANNING PROCESS .
This goal should be easy to accomplish. The best location for Lady Liberty is available right now, almost exactly where She stood for 67 years, at the new and unfilled central sculpture base at Liberty/Gateway Plaza (image to right). It has visibility, seating, space for visitors, lighting, and more. The choice fulfills the promise made by City Council and the Mayor in 2013. And, it overlooks a modern symbol of the civil liberties Lady Liberty has inspired, the Rainbow Pride monumnent. Images below are from January 2021:
This website has a lot of information about this very avoidable controversy (see the Gateway-Liberty Park category), but the important issues can be grasped by checking out the links provided below this paragraph . This photo-editorial was presented to Council and Mayor in March 2018 (click on it for a larger version):
BTW: Mary Wallinger, the chief designer of Gateway Plaza and drafter of the Plan, changed her public position about returning Lady Liberty to Liberty Park, and placed the Rainbow Pride public art project at the location designated in the Plaza Plan for the Liberty replica. Happily, as stated above, there is an even better location still available close to the original installation. It more closely reflects public comment during the Plaza planning process.
HELPFUL LINKS: Here are links to various topics of interest. Each posting contains more links to relevant material.
- A full history of this controversy/travesty, with photos, documents, important links: tinyurl.com/TimelessLiberty
- the Stepchild treatment of Lady Liberty for two years now at the Location in Exile: tinyurl.com/StepchildLiberty
- CIVIC PRIDE should compel City Hall to give Lady Liberty the respect due Her as a symbol of liberty, welcome and opportunity, and an important part of Schenectady’s history. See the posting “Will Civic Pride save Schenectady’s Liberty Replica” for several important points, including how much better the other New York State BSA replicas are being treated — with, for example, Utica and and tiny Leroy totally refurbishing their Replicas the same year Schenectady’s Mayor put ours in storage with no intention to treat Her with respect. [click on image at the right to see the Upstate Sisters of our Lady Liberty.}
See “Letters for the Lady” for a compilation of letters to the editor and editorial pieces about the City’s treatment of Lady Liberty.
Come back for updates related to the Rally and our Lady Liberty Respect campaign.
(October 24, 2021): The Sunday Gazette has an article about our campaign to return Lady Liberty to Her Home. See “Schenectady group wants Lady Liberty off Erie. Blvd., back to former park location” (Brian Lee, A1; photo at right).
(October 25, 2021): Our thanks go to NewsChannel10 reporter Collan Smith (on left) for highlighting our campaign in their Sunday night news program. See “Schenectady group wants lady liberty statue moved ‘out of exile‘ (October 24, 2021).
(October 26, 2021): Today’s Gazette mentions our Bring Her Home campaign at the end of an article that focused on City Council passing the Annual Budget at its meeting last night.
“What an absolute disservice and disrespect to such a well-loved member of our community seeking peace and tranquility,” Morris said.
Unfortunately, the report ended with this sentence:
McCarthy has said that the statue had been neglected and was often urinated on at its former location.
GALLERY for THE LADY: This space will present a growing collection of images of Lady Liberty advocates from our Schenectady Community:
. . above: Vince Riggi [L} and James Wilson [R] . .
. . above: [L] Delanne Stageman; [R] Keith Dayer on left and Susannah Hand
. . also at the Sunday Green Market on Jay Street:
PLEASE, BRING LADY LIBERTY HOME, to wit, HERE: