LOWER MANHATTAN — An expansive new Statue of Liberty museum is in the works for Liberty Island, with some help from dress designer Diane Von Furstenberg.
The 20,000-square-foot space would replace the much smaller museum at the base of Lady Liberty's pedestal, according to an environmental review the National Park Service released late last month, allowing more than double the number of visitors to peruse exhibitions about the statue's storied history.
Diane von Furstenberg has committed to help fund raise for the museum, which is being privately financed, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In the past, von Furstenberg and her billionaire husband Barry Diller have given significant contributions to both the High Line and the redevelopment of Pier 55 near the Meatpacking District.
The new museum, still in its conceptual phase, would be a standalone building on the northwest side of the island and include gallery and exhibition space, as well as an immersive theater, according to the environmental review.
Only about 20 percent of visitors to Liberty Island can tour the current museum, simply because it's too small, the National Park Service said. Last year, 4.3 million sailed across New York Harbor to the Statue of Liberty.
The new space would not only give visitors are potentially more meaningful visit, it would also be an indoor space to take cover from bad weather, or simply rest out of the sun, the National Park Service said.
"There is a need for both a richer interpretive experience that would be available to all visitors and indoor space for visitors during inclement weather," the National Park Service said in its environmental review.
The planned museum could hold 1,000 to 1,200 people an hour — more than doubling the number of people who visit the current museum.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the museum would take about two years to build. No estimated cost has been released.