How a Vermont company will help keep Statue of Liberty standing tall

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) - She stands tall in New York’s harbor and a Vermont company is making sure Lady Liberty stays that way.

Business is booming at Granite Importers in Barre. The family-run business specializes in manufacturing stone for structures.

“Yeah, we’ve been working on it since November,” said Chris Colgan, the manager at Granite Importers.

Monday, one of their most prominent projects hit the road. Precisely cut granite is headed to Fort Wood, the base of the Statue of Liberty.

The company was hired to replace some of the 35,000 square feet of the wall.

Colgan is the third generation to manage the Barre business.

“The hardest part was engineering the corners. It’s very hard to put on paper all the angles and there’s not much information came up from the site to engineer these,” Colgan said.

It’s not their biggest project but is perhaps the most visible. According to National Park figures, more than 4 million people visit Lady Liberty each year.

“Every stone has to be cut a different size,” said Richard Roux, who has worked at Granite Importers for 38 years.

Roux was in charge of making those corner pieces.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Difficult?

Richard Roux: It was.

Joe Carroll: Why so?

Richard Roux: I’ve never seen that type of corner before in my life. It wasn’t a normal corner.

Roux used measurements and angles supplied on paper to replicate the stone. When done, they moved all the pieces inside the building to make sure the sections aligned.

Joe Carroll: So it’s almost like putting together a puzzle inside here?

Richard Roux: It sure was. It helped to have overhead cranes to put it together.

The granite is heading to New Jersey where a barge will transfer the stone to the project.

Joe Carroll: You going to go down and look at it when it’s done?

Chris Colgan: I’d like to if I could get away, yes.

“I’ve never been down to the Statue of Liberty, but I’d like to go,” Roux said.

Even if the two never make it to the historic site, their work will be seen by others for generations.