Born on October 31, 1827, Hunt was already designing grand mansions in Newport, Rhode Island when in 1881 he received the commission for the Statue of Liberty footrest. By 1884, Hunt completed a final design, shown here. Construction began, and then money ran out. Hunt's pedestal wasn't finished until 1886—a year after the statue arrived from France.
Nevertheless, Richard Morris Hunt was the right architect for Liberty's Pedestal—he donated back his $1,000 fee.
Sketch courtesy of the National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument