why was the eiffel tower originally built

In 1889, Paris hosted an Exposition Universelle (Worldвs Fair) to mark the 100-year anniversary of the. More than 100 artists submitted competing plans for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars, located in central Paris, and serve as the expositionвs entrance. The commission was granted to Eiffel et Compagnie, a consulting and construction firm owned by the acclaimed bridge builder, architect and metals expert Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. While Eiffel himself often receives full credit for the monument that bears his name, it was one of his employeesвa structural engineer named Maurice Koechlinвwho came up with and fine-tuned the concept. Several years earlier, the pair had collaborated on the Statue of Libertyвs metal armature. Did You Know? The base pillars of the Eiffel Tower are oriented with the four points of the compass.

Eiffel reportedly rejected Koechlinвs original plan for the tower, instructing him to add more ornate flourishes. The final design called for more than 18,000 pieces of puddle iron, a type of wrought iron used in construction, and 2. 5 million rivets. Several hundred workers spent two years assembling the framework of the iconic lattice tower, which at its inauguration in March 1889 stood nearly 1,000 feet high and was the tallest structure in the worldвa distinction it held until the completion of
Cityвs Chrysler Building in 1930. (In 1957, an antenna was added that increased the structureвs height by 65 feet, making it taller than the Chrysler Building but not the Empire State Building, which had surpassed its neighbor in 1931. ) Initially, only the Eiffel Towerвs second-floor platform was open to the public; later, all three levels, two of which now feature restaurants, would be reachable by stairway or one of eight elevators.

Millions of visitors during and after the Worldвs Fair marveled at Parisв newly erected architectural wonder. Not all of the cityвs inhabitants were as enthusiastic, however: Many Parisians either feared it was structurally unsound or considered it an eyesore. The novelist Guy de Maupassant, for example, allegedly hated the tower so much that he often ate lunch in the restaurant at its base, the only vantage point from which he could completely avoid glimpsing its looming silhouette. Did you know the color of the Eiffel Tower gradually gets lighter the higher it gets?

The INSIDER Summary: The Eiffel Tower was completed on March 31, 1889. This year, the iconic structure turns 129 years old. Most people don't know that many Parisians initially hated the Eiffel Tower, that its light show requires 20,000 LED lights, or that Gustave Eiffel had a secret apartment on the third floor. It's impossible to think of Paris without picturing the Eiffel Tower. The world-famous attraction turns 128 years old on March 31, marking the date (World's Fair) to honor the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The tower continues to make an impression today, drawing nearly seven million visitors from all over the world each year. In honor of the Eiffel Tower's upcoming birthday, here are some fascinating facts about the iconic iron structure.

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