All of us have a story and so does Eiffel Tower. Let’s get to know the story behind the making of Eiffel Tower-
Built amid a chorus of controversy as a “temporary” exhibit for the Centennial Exposition in Paris in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is now considered one of the culminating achievements of 19th century civil engineering in both structural innovation and beauty.
At 984 feet (300 m), it was the tallest building in the world for 40 years, until it was overtaken by the Chrysler Building in New York City.
The tower was composed of mass-produced, prefabricated iron parts. It was constructed quickly—-in just over two years; cheaply—the cost of 8 million francs was recouped in the first year; and relatively safely by a small labour force 300 workers (there was only one fatality).
It used the new technology of the elevator, invented only a few years earlier, to offer visitors a ride in a glass cage up a gentle curve to the equivalent of 100 stories above ground, to view an urban panorama at that time extending 40 miles (64 km) on a clear day.
Symbolic of the romance of 19th century Paris, the Eiffel tower has become one of the world’s icons, signifying modernity, technological progress, tourism and an important history chapter.
The tower is named after the French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel, although the design was conceived in 1884 by two of his employees, Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin. They designed an iron tower consisting of four massive pylons, constructed from girders riveted together and joined at the summit.
Gustave Eiffel was not at first impressed, but he exhibited the design and patented it under all three names. Later that year he bought out his two employees and enlisted the design help of an architect, Stephen Sauvestre, to improve its visual form.
Eiffel and Sauvestre entered their design in the 1886 competition for a tower to be a central monument for the forth-coming World’s Fairs Of 107 entries, the Eiffel—Sauvestre design was one of the three winners.
The other winners were given commissions for other major buildings for the Exposition, but it was Eiffel who was commissioned to build the Eiffel tower, although he had to give a personal guarantee against any over-expenditure of budget in return, he had an apartment in the upper reaches of the tower, where he conducted aeronautics experiments and entertained friends.
Story of Rise of Eiffel Tower from AN EYESORE TO AN ICON
The main attraction in an exposition to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower was twice as high as any previous human structure. it immediately provoked a furor of fear about its safety and outrage at its “ugliness.”
A group of French intellectuals wrote to the exhibition’s organizing committee protesting against this “vertiginously ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a black, gigantic factory chimney…” One signatory, writer Guy de Maupassant, often lunched there in later years—not because he had changed his mind, but because “it’s the only place in Paris where I don’t have to see it!”
Eiffel’s record for building fabulous, structurally sound bridges across huge spans stood him in good stead. The Parisian establishment agreed that the structure should go ahead, with the concession that it would be dismantled in 20 years’ time. When the concession expired in 1909 controversy erupted again, and the Eiffel tower was saved only because it could be used for the new technology of radio transmission. Later it served as a television transmitter.
Today, any notion of dismantling the Eiffel Tower has become inconceivable. Indeed, the city of Paris spent three times the initial cost of the tower in refurbishing its most prominent international symbol.