Saturday, March 31, 2012

Remembering: The Eiffel Tower

March 31, 1889 the Eiffel Tower is officially completed and dedicated. Gustave Eiffel supervised the completion of the project he designed not only under budget, but early as well.

Some critics had argued that his design would be unstable and could not last or reach so high. Others that it would be an eyesore, taking away from the charm of the Parisian skyline.

The nine hundred and eighty-four foot tall tower is made of an iron framework supported on four masonry piers. On each pier is a column, which unite to form a single vertical tower. Three platforms, at different levels, have observation decks. Glass caged, elevators ascend the piers on a curve.

On the day of dedication the elevators were the only thing not completed, so Eiffel and some determined companions took the stairs. Once at the top the let fly a huge French tricolor. At the signal fireworks were set off, on the second platform.

In 1909 the lease on the land expired, and plans began to tear it down, but it served a great purpose as a radio tower and so was saved. It remained the world's tallest structure until 1930.