Eiffel Tower

Student in front of Eiffel Tower

Built in 1889, it is still the tallest building in Paris and the most visited paid for monument in history, seeing nearly 7 million people per year. The Eiffel Tour is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

The Exposition Universelle of 1889 marked the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. This exposition is intended to showcase nation’s achievements. A monument was to be built serving as the exposition’s entrance in Paris. More than 100 plans were submitted to win this great honor, but the firm of Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel was chosen.

Gustave Eiffel was a renowned engineer and architect known for his metal structural work, including the internal frame of the Statue of Liberty. Although he did not himself create the designs for the Eiffel Tower, his name gave the city the confidence that this tower would be a successful masterpiece.

There were many Parisians unhappy with the idea to erect such an eye sore in the center of the city. A petition was signed against the tower from 300 artists, sculptors, and architects, representing the 300 meters height of the tower. Alas, construction continued, and the tower was completed within 2 years 2 months and 5 days.

The Eiffel Tower was not meant to be a permanent structure; after 20 years it was to be dismantled. The tower was saved by using it for scientific purposes. Eiffel installed a meteorology lab at the top of the tower and invited scientists to conduct their research on fields from gravity to electricity. Due to its height, the tower was ideal for wireless telegraph transmissions, which aided the French in World Wars I and II. The Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world until the construction of the Chrysler Building in 1930. Gustave Eiffel had also included a small apartment at the top of the tower in which he welcomed colleagues and his doctor brother saw patients with respiratory ailments.

The Eiffel Tower was built in order to welcome other nations to a universal exposition. The spirit of demonstrating our great pieces of work across the globe still exists today. It is important to recognize that people in all industries, including engineering, have worked globally since travel was possible. As globalization ever more increases, so will the drive to work with other creative minds in all corners of the world.

By Bethany Caspersz