An ingenious design
When Gustav Eiffel first presented his project on the eve of the 1889 World Exhibition, his idea was adopted into bayonets. The tower, 300 metres high, which he planned to erect as a monument to the centenary of the French Revolution, was for a long time the subject of Paris society controversy.
Famous 19th-century men such as Dumas, Maupassant, architect Garnier, even made up a complaint referring to the tower as a “shameless skeleton,” a “huge pipe plant whose shape will disfigure the architectural harmony of the city.”
Despite criticism and frequent worker strikes, construction was completed, taking little more than two years.
The history of the erection of
Gustav Eiffel became famous for unusual ideas of building bridges, railway station in Budapest, frame of the Statue of Liberty. He watched as his greatest project, as if a huge constructor assembled from 18,038 parts and stapled with 2.5 million rivets, rose from nothingness.
More than 300 builders took part in the construction of the tower, who had to be stuntmen, fastening huge details. Many died at that.
The tower, opened to the general public in May 1889, was an instant success. Eiffel was able to reimburse the creditors for the construction money only through the proceeds from the sale of entrance tickets to the 186800 tower to visitors.
However, 20 years later, the lease of the land expired and Eiffel lost control of the tower. It passed into the hands of the authorities, who believed the land was too expensive for such a frivolous structure, and offered to turn it into scrap metal.
Fortunately, due to World War I, the Eiffel Tower housed a military telegraph and radio station, the lease extended for the next 70 years, and the influx of tourists resumed.
But by 1980, the designs were coming to light. The structure, which weighed 9,700 tons in 1889, carried an additional 1,300 tons of sediment, radio and television antennas. The elevators were worn out and the tower recognized as dangerous. A commission was convened and a renovation took place within three years. Excessive elements sawed off the tower, the most recognizable details, such as parts of the original staircase, auctioned off. New elevators were delivered and the entire structure painted with five tons of paint.
Today the Eiffel Tower is very popular. It was visited by more than 4.5 million people in 2013. It opened 3 new restaurants, a post office, a conference room and a currency exchange office.