Eiffel Tower Blueprints!

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Boingboing linked to these beautiful blueprints straight from Gustave Eiffel's pen, and I completely fell in love with them.

Scanning the pics made me think back on the origins of the Eiffel Tower, and how it got to Paris. Here's what we wrote in our book, In the Beginning:

Believe it or not, the Eiffel Tower was originally supposed to be in Barcelona. But  the city thought it would look like an eyesore, and rejected Gustave Eiffel's plans. That meant he was forced to repitch the project elsewhere. Luckily, Eiffel found a home for his idea in Paris, where the Tower could serve as the main archway for the 1889 International Exposition. Amazingly, the Tower didn't exactly go over well with the Parisians, either. The enormous iron structure was immediately belittled by critics, and one especially harsh reviewer referred to the thing a "metal asparagus." The writer Guy de Maupassant, one of the fathers of the short story, had similar feelings. He famously patronized a restaurant inside the tower because it was the one place he wouldn't have to look at the building.

Truth be told, the Eiffel Tower wasn't supposed to stay up for very long. In fact, it was offered for sale as scrap, and was only spared because it proved useful to the French army. (They found that its 984-foot height worked nicely as a communications tower.) Thankfully, Gustave Eiffel's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad structure has managed to endure.

Link via the terrifically curated Boingboing.  Oh, and click here if you want to check out In the Beginning.

December 28, 2009 - 7:40am
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