The statue's right hand holds a globe; an eagle with wings spread perches on it. The other hand grasps a staff with a plaque that reads "liberty", partly obscured by an encircling laurel wreath. The original at the Exposition had instead a Phyrigian cap on top of the staff. The original was only partly gilded (no gold on the exposed skin of the head, neck and arms), but the new version is completely gilded.
The original statue for the Exposition, constructed in 1893, stood in front of the Court of Honor, inside the Great Basin (pool). However, in 1896 the statue succumbed to a fire, destroying it. The current statue stands in the area between the exposition's Electricity and Administration Buildings (both demolished after the exposition), now an intersection, where Richards Drive joins Hayes Drive.
The statue is widely known in Chicago by the colloquial name of the "Golden Lady." It was designated a Chicago Landmark on June 4, 2003.