The Eiffel Tower, or as the French call it, "La Tour
Eiffel", is the last metal construction from the 1887
exhibition. From top to bottom the Eiffel tower is a naked
construction showing its rivets and seams proudly.
Work on the Eiffel Tower began on January 28, 1887. With
new techniques for metal construction the Eiffel Tower was
completed in 26 months. The only complaints about it were
directed at its starkness.
The Parisian skyline is forever changed by this tower of
steel. Three hundred meters tall when finished, it
dominated the landscape of Paris. Later a
telecommunications antenna was added to raise the tower's
height to almost 350 meters (620 feet). The Eiffel Tower
was the tallest building in the world until 1930 when the
Chrysler building was built.
The Eiffel Tower was built to commemorate the French
Revolution. A competition was held for designs for a
suitable monument. More than 100 plans were submitted, but
only three were picked. The final choice was a difficult
one to make, but it was finally decided and the spot was
Conceived by Gustave Alexandre Eiffel, who was an
accomplished bridge engineer, the towers' designs were sent
in to the Centennial Committee. The reply came not more
than a month later, they were to build the tower. Work on
the actual tower began more than five months after the
designs were accepted. Progress was very fast, and by
August of 1887 the first section had been completed.
Throughout the building of the tower, complaints flowed in
about its aesthetic value. Making use of new techniques,
the rest of the tower was finished with a minimum of time
and money. The four semicircular arches that made the
tower's base were dictated by Gustaves artistic sense. The
curve of the trusses required the elevators to ascend on a
curve. The elevators made by a U. S manufacturer became one
of the principal features of the tower. Three platforms at
different heights are reached by stairs and elevators. On
the top of the tower are a meteorological station and a
The Eiffel Tower was the first of its kind. Preceding
towers had tried to copy Greek architecture instead of
being original. The Eiffel tower began a revolution in
civil engineering and architectural design.