The colossal statue itself was designed and its sections built in France. The pedestal and base were built in America. The base on which Liberty stands was the largest cement mass ever poured until that time. Half of the cost was contributed by wealthy patrons.
Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, organized a campaign to raise the balance. American school children donated their pocket money. Ordinary working people contributed the rest.
Pulitzer commissioned poet Emma Lazarus to write a poem for the new statue. She composed the sonnet "The New Colossus," which was inscribed on a plaque mounted inside the statue in 1903. Many Americans are familiar with the iconic second stanza, which reads:
| "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Sculptor Auguste Bartholdi designed the solid copper torch, which was gilded to shine in the sunlight. Upon its arrival, however, the Army Corps of Engineers modified the torch so it would be lighted at night.