Eiffel: much more than a Tower

One may like or dislike it but who does not seen an image of this landmark?

Expo universelle 1990 tx

From the very beginning the construction of the Eiffel Tower raised harsh criticism amongst the French society. As Weidmann and Vermette (2000) write in their book France at the dawn of the twenty-first century, trends and transformations: “the Eiffel Tower itself was the subject of tremendous vituperation by critics who claimed that it would disfigure Paris forever. The tower, built for the 1889 Exposition Universelle to commemorate the first centennial of the Revolution, endured years of ridicule until it firmly entered consciousness as the singular symbol of Paris”. French society did not like it at the beginning and it led to rejection and disgust. However, despite all opposition, the construction of the Tower continued.

This technical challenge, designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel and the architect Stephen Souvestre as totem of the Exposition Universelle, represents a turning point in the way of constructing (Preziosi,1998). Modern materials, new processes and technologies and industrialized society transformed Western architecture at the close of the 19th century. The exposed iron skeleton of the Eiffel Tower blurred the distinction between interior and exterior.

The tallest monument built at that moment served as a radio antenna in World War I, communicating distant French forces with Paris, as well as a radio keeping the public in contact in the 1920s (Oreskes, 1999).

A curiousity about this project is the “marriage” in 2007 of an American sport woman with the Tower. She decided to engage it, giving herself the name of Erica “Aya” Eiffel (Winkler, 2012). This type of events can be named as objectophilia, they occur when individuals have strong emotional desires towards inanimate objects.

Overall, the Eiffel Tower seems to be an inspiration that has become a worldwide known icon and the main symbol of France.

• Weidmann, M.C.-Koop,Vermette, R. (2000): “France at the dawn of the twenty-first century, trends and transformations”. Retrieved January 14 from http://books.google.es/books?id=cVa46Q7oMlcC&pg=PA227&dq=eiffel+tower+polemic&hl=es&sa=X&ei=X9HVUpWuAbTb7AapuoCwDA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=eiffel%20tower%20polemic&f=false
• Exposition Universelle (1889). (2014, January 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:13, January 14, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Exposition_Universelle_(1889)&oldid=589468775
• Donald Preziosi (1998) : The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology Retrieved January 14 from http://books.google.es/books?id=Q7GArjCG9J8C&pg=PA155&dq=eiffel+tower+rejection+history&hl=es&sa=X&ei=Q8jVUsDBBaaJ7AacloHgDw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=eiffel%20tower%20rejection%20history&f=false
• San Diego Naomi Oreskes (1999): “The Rejection of Continental Drift : Theory and Method in American Earth …” Retrieved January 14 from http://books.google.es/books?id=EEQdk9GRfkoC&pg=PA231&dq=eiffel+tower+rejection+history&hl=es&sa=X&ei=Q8jVUsDBBaaJ7AacloHgDw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=eiffel%20tower%20rejection%20history&f=false
• Lawrence Winkler (2012): “Between the Cartwheels” Retrieved January 14 from http://books.google.es/books?id=F4n4a29AtT4C&pg=PT304&dq=objectophile+Eiffel+Tower&hl=es&sa=X&ei=H_fXUqDoE4SS7AaU1YCQAw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=objectophile%20Eiffel%20Tower&f=false
• Nick Smith (2011, May 16). “Classic Projects: Eiffel Tower”. Retrieved December 30 from http://eandt.theiet.org/magazine/2011/05/classic-projects.cfm
• Fabrico Magazine (2012, October 9). “The Inspiration of the Eiffel Tower”. Retrieved December 30 from http://fabricomagazine.com/architecture/la-tour-eiffel-and-the-towers-it-has-inspired/
• Josselin Thonnelier (2013, Janvier 31)[publicado en “En Images”] http://www.urbanews.fr/categorie/rsc/images/). “En 1890, une Tour Eiffel à Londres”.
Retrieved December 30 from http://www.urbanews.fr/2013/01/31/28854-en-1890-une-tour-eiffel-a-londres/
• Elizabeth Palermo [LiveScience contributor] (2013, May 7). “Eiffel Tower: Information & Facts” Retrieved December 25 from http://www.livescience.com/29391-eiffel-tower.html#sthash.CHznOL9N.dpuf

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