Eiffel Tower

21 May 2021  |  Architecture

Eiffel's designs - apart from the tower.

Let's briefly mention the tower - designed by Gustave Eiffel and built in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition in Paris.

But there was a lot more to the civil engineer, born in Dijon in 1832.

Eiffel graduated from two prestigious Paris schools and began working for a railway engineering company. Hi sfirst design of note was the Passarelle Bridge over the river Garonne near Bordeaux.

Passarelle Bridge

Eiffel founded his own company in 1866 and constructed two viaducts for the railway line between Lyon and Bordeaux.

In 1881 Eiffel was contacted by Auguste Bartholdi who was in need of an engineer to help him to realise the Statue of Liberty. Some work had already been carried out by Eugène Viollet-Le_Duc but he had died in 1879. Eiffel was selected because of his experience with wind stresses. Eiffel devised a structure consisting of a four legged pylon to support the copper sheeting which made up the body of the statue. The entire statue was erected at the Eiffel works in Paris before being dismantled and shipped to the United States.

A pre-runner to the architectual design of the Eiffel Tower, the viaduct at Ruynes-en-Margeride in 1882.

1882 Viaduc at Ruynes-en-Margeride

Three years later came the Alameda Railway Station in Santiago, Chile.

Alameda railway station, Santiago Chile 1885

In 1886 Eiffel designed the dome for the Observatory in Nice.

In 1887, Eiffel's reputation suffered a blow when he was implicated in a financial scandal whilst building locks for a canal in Panama. He was fined 20,000 francs and sentenced to two years in prison, although he was acquitted on appeal.

And then, of course came the tower...

Eiffel died in Paris in 1923.

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Hugh Atkins

Co-founder of Pure France. 20 years of visiting and photographing fabulous properties, meeting fascinating people and driving every main and back road in France.

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