Memorable Monday: Eiffel’s last word!

“I ought to be jealous of the tower. She is more famous than I am.” — Gustave Eiffel

Today marks the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Eiffel Tower.

Today marks the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Eiffel Tower.

We are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the March 31, 1889, dedication of the Eiffel Tower.

One of the world’s most famous landmarks, the tower was built to honor the centenary of the French Revolution and to be the opening arch to the 1889 World’s Fair. A design competition was held by the French government, which was planning an international exposition for the centenary.

More than 100 designs submitted, but the committee charged with the competition chose the design by engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and then built the monument. Well-known for his bridge-building expertise, Eiffel designed the framework for the Statue of Liberty. The wrought iron tower featuring a lattice work design was 10,000 feet tall, and, at the time, was the tallest structure in the world.

The tower’s was opposed by many in the French arts community. Some opposed its design, others believed that it would mar the beauty of Paris, and some were concerned about its safety.

Undaunted by the protests, Eiffel moved forward. The tower was built in two years time and was under budget. At the dedication, Eiffel said the tower represented “… not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France’s gratitude.”

Just in time for the 125th anniversary, a news article reported last week that more photos of the Eiffel Tower are shared on Instagram than of any other landmark in the world. Times Square finished second; Big Ben was third.

And to those naysayers: We say that Gustave Eiffel has had the last word on the value of his work!

(“Eiffel Tower Paris At Dusk” by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, freedigitalphotos.net)

 

 

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