SAUGET, Ill. – The St. Louis region is getting a Little Liberty. The statue arrived in the metro east on Thursday after a trip that began in the Big Apple.

The 1,000-mile journey started on Monday, and it will be a little piece of New York in Sauget, Illinois.

“She originated at the turn of the century when an immigrant who loved his country so much, he built a warehouse as a business endeavor and put a replica of the Statue of Liberty on top,” said Michael Allen, executive director of the National Building Arts Center.

Little Liberty, a 34-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty, originally stood atop the Liberty Warehouse on 43 West 65th Street in New York City.

“It was on top of the warehouse for 101 years,” Allen said. “That building became apartments, and they donated it to the Brooklyn Museum. Eventually, they decided their mission was more focused on contemporary art, and they partnered with us in choosing things from their collection that should be here rather than there.”

A sheet metal company in Ohio that produced everything from kitchen cabinets to roofing tiles originally built it. The last 20 years have been hard for Liberty to enlighten the world.

“In the last decade, Little Liberty has gotten a little rusty and crusty, and we want to clean her up and get her repainted,” Allen said. “Work on the steel base. Work on the pedestal base and restore it to the height it was when it was on top of the warehouse.”

The NBAC, a study center housing the nation’s largest and most diversified collection of building artifacts, will repair and restore Little Liberty before putting her on a pedestal to make her Illinois debut on Labor Day.

The late founder, Larry Giles, began Liberty’s journey west six years ago. Soon, she’ll be standing upright at the entrance to the National Building Arts Center, facing Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch.

“We’re putting it up, so it’s going to be over 50 feet in the air,” Allen said. “It will be visible from the Gateway Arch Observation Deck. Maybe even the Poplar Street Bridge.”