The World-Famous Eiffel Tower Was Once Considered An Eyesore

Years Later the Old Weather Tower is an Iconic Symbol of the City of Paris

by Kayla Hollis, age 11

The Eiffel Tower is known for its height and beauty. Now Paris’s most iconic structure, the “Tour d’Eiffel” was quite the controversy at the time of its construction.

During the 19th century, innovations in building techniques and materials accelerated. Many engineers and politicians wanted to build a structure that would be hailed as the tallest in the world. In fact, a competition was announced for the 1889 Paris Exposition. French engineer Gustave Eiffel and his company created plans for such a structure by the end of 1884. Two years later, Eiffel’s scheme was chosen from among 100 entries. The enormous tower is 1,000 feet tall and weighs 11,760 tons.

With the help of 250 men, the tallest tower in the world was constructed. Built in just 26 months, the duration of its construction is still considered amazingly short. In addition, over 18,000 separate components were used in the construction.

At the start of the Eiffel Tower’s construction, local writers and artists protested, and wanted construction to stop because they considered the tower an unappealing addition to their city’s skyline. Nearby residents also objected and feared that the tower would collapse. Still, Eiffel told workers to continue building.

Since Eiffel was also a scientist, he used the tower to conduct experiments, placing meteorological equipment at the top of the tower to compare weather conditions to those on the ground. Eiffel also used the tower for experiments in aerodynamics. Later, the Tower was home to the country’s first radio and TV stations.

A restaurant was eventually added to the first platform of the tower. Famous French author Guy de Maupassant was known to frequent the restaurant because it was the only place in Paris form which he could not see the tower. Over a century later, the Eiffel Tower is still standing, a beautiful building and an international icon.

[Source: 100 Great Wonders of the World]