Nightly News | October 27, 2012
>>> she may have to share the spotlight with hurricane sandy, but the statue of liberty is set to re-open tomorrow on her 126th birthday after a $30 million renovation. nbc's michelle franzen got a preview today.
>> reporter: for much of the past year this is how lady liberty appeared. construction teams revamping the pedestal and parts of her interior, all to give visitors better access to the crown. for rachel ingram it's the view from outside that takes her breath away.
>> it's the symbolism, what it represents to america and what it means to all of us.
>> reporter: during the year-long renovation, the grounds were open to the public. now people will have a chance to get a new and improved look from the inside of this historic landmark . the way people make the journey to the top has dramatically changed. out of date staircases and the glass enclosed elevator shaft have been upgraded.
>> we have fire separated staircases, a fire separated elevator shaft . we have for the first time ever a lift that will take handicapped folks from the end of the elevator up to the observation deck .
>> reporter: visitors will still have to climb from the base of the observation deck to the top to take in the stunning views. a trek duane harris remembers when he was a boy.
>> it was a very narrow passage. took a while to get up there. so my dad and i did attempt and were successful. once we got up there we were able to see throughout the hudson river and parts of new york.
>> reporter: now he plans to bring his kids back to do the same.
>> it would be cool going up there.
>> reporter: the passing of the torch from one generation to another. and with her latest nips and tucks, lady liberty will stand tall for years to come. michelle franzen , nbc news, new york.