Statue of Liberty "Luxury Makeover" Calls Out Contemporary Development Practices

Goodbye huddled masses, hello muddled cocktails.

This tongue-in-cheek tagline is one of a number quips featured on a satirical teaser site for what would surely be New York City’s most exclusive new development – a luxury community located within the city’s most famous symbol, the Statue of Liberty.

Created by New York comedians Connor Toole and Evan Krumholz, the trendily all-capitalized and unnecessarily punctuated “ONE|LIBERTY™” is a spot-on parody of the ever-growing number of ultra-luxury lifestyle developments popping up in the city – accurately lampooning the hyperbolic language and long amenity lists touted by developers and realtors.

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“Immigrate to Luxury,” the website proclaims, while boasting of the building’s “one-of-a-kind freshwater pool, sourced directly from the pristine Hudson,” “crowntop terrace,” and celebrity-chef-backed “hot dog cart concept.” The faux-development even name drops one of New York’s most prolific starchitects, listing Rafael Viñoly as the designer of its “72 impeccable residences.” For the most ambitious buyers, an “in-torch penthouse” would offer panoramic views “from gown to crown.”

The site creators even coined a new neighborhood nickname for the community: LiBi (a horrendous bastardization of Liberty Island), located within the “historic Ellis District.”


The parody seems especially poignant at a time when many of the city’s historic buildings are being razed or renovated beyond recognition to make way for a select number of new ultra-luxury residences. In addition to high-profile projects like Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Factory transformation, many other less revered, yet historically significant buildings such as NoMad’s Beaux Arts-style Kaskel & Kaskel building are currently threatened by new condominium towers. All the while, unaffordable housing is popping up all over the city, forcing existing residents to relocate to new homes further from the city center.


For generations, the Statue of Liberty welcomed in immigrants from across the globe, a symbol of freedom and opportunity for families making New York their new home. But today, many of those original immigrant locales have been redeveloped for the rich – with the only “immigrants” represented by super-rich businessmen looking for an investment property to store their capital in. What does the Statue of Liberty represent to this new wave of immigrants?

Giving what is perhaps New York’s most iconic structure the realtor treatment takes these concerns to their most absurd, but also raises some very real questions: how do we best go about preserving a city’s historic structures, and what is the effect of these “exclusive” developments on the public realm?

Check out the site for yourself, here.

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Cite: Patrick Lynch. "Statue of Liberty "Luxury Makeover" Calls Out Contemporary Development Practices" 01 Sep 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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