It’s one of the world’s premier tourist attractions and up until when the Chrysler Building in New York was built in 1930 – it was the world’s tallest man-made structure.  The Eiffel Tower was built to honor the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution and it served as the entrance gateway to the International Exposition.  And they almost tore it down when the Expo's 20-year lease on the land expired, but can you think of what it was that saved it?  Think about the height of the Eiffel Tower.  It was perfect as a radio tower.

The French government was given more than 100 designs and they chose Gustav Eiffel's nearly 1,000 foot wrought-iron tower.  Eiffel was a famous bridge builder and also designed the framework for the Statue of Liberty.

Not very many people liked it.  Some said it was unsafe and many thought it would be an eyesore.  Some people said it was downright ugly.  But it took only two years to build and it was under budget. One was worker was killed during construction, but at the time that was incredibly low number for a project of that size.

Not everything went perfectly though.  The elevators weren’t finished on the day it was dedicated, so Eiffel and a few others climbed the stairs all the way to the top to raise a huge French flag.  The Eiffel Tower website says there are 1710 steps to just the tower’s third level.  For visitors you can only get to the top by using an elevator.  But Eiffel and his group had to do the climb using emergency exit stairs.  It's surprising they had the energy to do anything once they got to the top.

The Eiffel Tower was dedicated on this date, March 31st in 1889.

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