MUSCATINE, Iowa — Lady Liberty’s lamp is once again illuminated in New York Harbor, and the tall gal has Muscatine-based Musco Lighting to thank.
Last week, the company donated equipment, design and engineering services to re-light the iconic statue’s torch, which was once again shining Friday evening after power was knocked out Oct. 29 by superstorm Sandy.
Brett Nelson, general manager of the company’s Muscatine plant, said “several key folks in design” flew to New York on Monday to “work through the process of what it would take to light it.”
Most of the team was from the company’s Oskaloosa plant, he said.
By Tuesday, the company had identified the products the project would require. On Wednesday, the temporary lighting was shipped to New York.
New Yorkers began noticing the new lights Friday at dusk, around 6:30 p.m.
The temporary lights will remain in place until permanent repairs are made.
The statue, a gift from France following the U.S. Revolutionary War, sits on a small island in New York Harbor. Its torch can be seen from many vantage points around New York City.
“It was certainly something really important to help out with the recovery,” Nelson said. “That can be a typical operation for Musco. It’s something that makes us different. Our motto is, ‘We make it happen.’”
In a news release, both the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation expressed its appreciation.
“Through the years, Musco Lighting has demonstrated a continuous commitment to our country’s symbolic and special places,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation, the fundraising arm of the National Park Service, which manages the Statue of Liberty. “In a time of widespread rebuilding, their work to relight the Statue of Liberty will restore one of our nation’s most iconic monuments to its place of prominence.”
Working together with the foundation and the park service, Musco developed a system of LED (light-emitting diode) light fixtures powered by small generators and mounted on moveable structures that can be easily relocated as needed during the restoration work.
The state-of-the-art LED lighting system will also provide a reduction in energy use of more than 65 percent.
“During our visit to the Statue of Liberty on Monday, Superintendent David Luchsinger and National Park Service staff provided tremendous information and assistance to us that enabled our team to move this project forward so quickly,” said Joe Crookham, the president of Musco Lighting.
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This is not Musco’s first time supporting America’s national parks. The company has provided in-kind services through the National Park Foundation to light the White House, the Washington Monument and the Flight 93 National Memorial, among others.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report
To learn more about the latest recovery efforts by the National Park Service, visit www.facebook.com/HurricaneResponseNPS.
The website for Musco Lighting is ww.musco.com.