After gazing over the changing face of New Orleans for 133 years from atop a 68-foot column in the prominent circle that has borne his name, the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee was lifted off Friday evening, the final step in a plan New Orleans has pursued since 2015 to remove statues to Confederate officials and a white militia from public places.

Swaying slightly as it was lowered to the ground by a crane that had been moved into Lee Circle, the statue was placed on a flatbed truck for transport to a storage facility.