Thursday, April 29, 2010

The View

You all know how I feel about la Tour Eiffel. But when she was built, the French weren't all that enamored with her. Today, a few comments from some of the more disgruntled bystanders, published in 1887.

" this truly tragic street lamp"
"this belfry skeleton"
"this high and skinny pyramid of iron ladders...which just peters out into a ridiculous thin shape like a factory chimney"
"a carcass waiting to be fleshed out with freestone or brick, a funnel-shaped grill, a hole riddled suppository"

Designed by Gustav Eiffel for the entrance for the Universal Exposition of 1889, the contest rules stated that the structures must be designed so that they could easily be deconstructed. Eiffel's contract called for the removal by 1909. Luckily by then it was being used as an important radio communications tower and was allowed to stay!

If you are interested in learning more about Eiffel's Tower, may I recommend Jill Jonnes' book by that name. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak last summer in Paris here.

For this next week, I'll be with fellow bloggers and blog readers, so I won't be able to visit as much I usually do. I hope you'll understand. I promise to treat you to photos of the festivities as soon as possible, and I'll try and check on your comments often! This is a little hint.


James said...

That's a fantastic picture! I'm counting the days til my return to Paris. Hmm from the clue it sounds like you are in my old neck of the woods. If you see my mother tell her I said hi. j/k :)

TheChieftess said...

Love this view of the La Tour...the black and white makes it look vintage...perfect!!!

Daniel N. said...

Nice post about the french icon :)
I personaly find it a beautiful and complex monument. I've visited it many times and I still like it.

I also have a post with a different shot of the tower here


vicki archer said...

Great shot Virginia...and it would appear that critics are not always right! xv

Noelle said...

This photo is MADE for B&W. Simply stunning. I will be following this blog for more beautiful looks into the beautiful city of Paris!

Ginnie said...

It always amazes me how icons like this become famous over time. Who would have thought back then that this one would be one of the biggest and best in the world!

I've already heard from Judy that you arrived in LA safe-n-sound, Virginia. I know you will have a blast meeting everyone.

Daryl said...

I am sure someday my negative remarks about the Times Square mall will be quoted this same way ...

Have fun .. travel safely

Virginia said...

We are having so much fun. Wish you could join us.

Noelle and Daniel,

Mary said...

Did you get to the Gamble House yet? Don't miss it and the other architectural gems in the same "hood"...are you journal-ing???

Starman said...

It wasn't so much that they didn't like it, they were afraid it would fall over, destroy their buildings and possibly kill a few people.

Starman said...

Also, Eiffel was not the originator of la Tour, but he ultimately took over because of his superior building skills.

♥ Eiffel Tower Suzy ♥ said...


I'm yelling this so much today my voice is getting hoarse.

from cali said...

Good girls go to Paris, which is Heaven! And this photo is living proof.

What? You are in SoCal?

wv:unicali! I kid you not!

Alexa said...

Did you take this fabulous picture from Sacre Coeur with a loooong lens? It's a beauty!

Anonymous said...

Or was it from the Arc?

Anonymous said...