The Statue of Liberty, perhaps one of the most iconic statues (and gifts) in the world, was given to the United States by France in 1886. This neoclassical copper sculpture, with a metal frame built by the Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame, depicts Roman liberty goddess Libertas enlightening the world with a torch in her right hand and a tablet in her left that is inscribed in Roman numerals with “July 4, 1776” – the date of the Declaration of the Independence. The broken shackles at her feet and chain in her left hand further signify the abolition of American slavery less than a quarter of a century beforehand, and ever since, “Lady Liberty” has embodied these timeless concepts and served as a beacon of hope to countless immigrants arriving on the shores of a country founded by immigrants.
Recently, using overlapping parts and building materials, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. worked with the National Park Service and U.S. Department of the Interior on a $100-million-dollar beautification project for Liberty Island – the centerpiece of which was construction of the new Statue of Liberty Museum. Built to provide context and inspiration to the millions of annual monument visitors, this five-year project and 26,000-square-foot museum opened in May of this year boasts an extensive AV network with plenty of content to reinforce the themes and history.
The AV network’s three primary areas include an immersive theater, an artifact gallery and an interactive kiosk exhibit. The immersive theater is separated into three nodes, each of which utilizes multiple projectors being fed video content that is projected onto multiple screens, the largest of which is 18 feet tall by 40 feet wide. The artifact gallery includes a mix of authentic and reproduction pieces that help tell the story of the statue’s construction and give a visual depiction of how the Statue of Liberty has become deeply intertwined with the cultural history of the United States. The third space within the museum is a large exhibit featuring 20 touch-interactive kiosks that invite visitors to answer questions about themselves, take selfies and then ‘push’ their personalized content to a massive LED wall. ESI Design is responsible for the overall look and feel of the exhibit, but brought on Diversified to handle AV integration. Diversified then deployed 80 BrightSign media players at various points to maximize network reliability.
“While Liberty Island may appear as if it’s just a stone’s throw away from New York City, we needed to bear in mind the practical remoteness of the site,” said Diversified Project Manager Carol Feeley-Vario. “Any service visit would require working within the parameters of ferry schedules and visitation hours – which is why we went to great lengths to build redundancies into the system that would all but eliminate the need to conduct repairs on-site.”
So, while BrightSign’s hardware is responsible for distributing 4K content to dozens of displays throughout the museum, perhaps the most critical role BrightSign plays in the museum is that of fail-over.
“We have BrightSign media players serving as back-ups to the primary servers, and in some cases even as secondary back-ups to the back-up servers,” added Feeley-Vario. “In short, we’re relying heavily on BrightSign to keep all the exhibits up and running in the unlikely event of a network failure. You can say BrightSign is the final ‘torch’ that would keep the museum’s exhibit content streams flowing in the case of any sort of disruption.”