Liberty Park's Statue of Liberty Replica
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
As I was researching historic buildings in Birmingham, AL I came across the story of the Statue of Liberty replica that now stands near the entrance of Liberty Park. I thought that this would be a fitting story to share on our web page since we are now located just across the road from this statue.
The building that sits at 20th Street and 3rd Ave. S. in Birmingham was built in 1925 as a 10 story office building and became the Liberty National Building in 1931 when it was purchased for $227,000. The building was designed by was Warren, Knight and Davis. In 1952 a 6 story addition was added on and it was decided that the building needed an icon, a symbol for the liberty that the company stood for. The idea was to create a 1/5 size replica of the "Statue of Liberty" so the Company enlisted the help of Chicago based German Sculptor, Lee Lawrie, and his son, Archer to create a plaster cast of the statue. There was no one to be found inside the U.S. to perform the casting so the statue itself had to be completed in France. The resulting statue was around 10 ton and was equipped with a gas powered torch. In 1953 on September 13th, the Statue of Liberty replica was hoisted up to the top of the building with a crane by Brice Building Company. Liberty National provided 40 minute tours starting in 1962 for those who wanted to see the statue up close. They hired 13 female tour guides called "Liberty Belles" that would lead the tours. The tours would happen twice per day; one at 10 a.m. and one at 2 p.m. In 1971 a 16 story addition was added to the lower building which overshadowed the original building.
In the 1980's Liberty National's Holding Company partnered with Drummond Company to develop Liberty Park. The statue was removed and relocated to Liberty Park to be visible from I-459 at the Entrance of Liberty Park. A dedication was held on July 4th, 1989.
For more information visit the source: https://www.bhamwiki.com/w/Liberty_National_statue