How did this Eiffel Tower project start and when did it come about?
It all began in 1887. France was preparing its involvement in the universal exhibition which marked the centenary of the French Revolution. A large contest at the impossible borders is then launched in the Official Journal. It is a bet that is launched and opened to all architectural talents who will try to take it up.
The challenge is to study the possibility of raising a square iron tower on the Champ-de-Mars, 125 meters long and 300 meters high. All this, before the official opening of the Universal Exhibition.
More than 100 projects are then suggested to the city of Paris, but only one of them will be retained. That one from the entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel associated with Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, two engineers, as well as the architect Stephen Sauvestre.
The construction begins on January 28, 1887 and ends on March 31, 1889. The total construction of this massive tower will therefore have taken to the 4 men and their workers exactly 2 years 2 months and 5 days. This service is officially a remarkable technical feat.
The idea of the shape of the Eiffel Tower comes from our two engineers. A very high tower, conceived as a large pylon made up of four trussed beams spread out at the base and joining together at the top, linked together by Beams arranged at regular intervals.
The first floor houses a French restaurant, a Russian restaurant, a 250-seat theater, an American bar, photographers stands, tobacco shops, souvenir shops and binoculars.
On the second floor, there are souvenir shops, a refreshment bar, a printing house from which a special edition of Le Figaro is produced every day.
Finally, the third floor is divided into two levels: the lower level where the public can admire the view of Paris, protected behind glass and the upper level, where Gustave Eiffel has an office, and where three laboratories (One for meteorology, one for astronomy and one for physiology).
All this work could have cost France dearly but Gustave Eiffel obtained a subsidy of 1,500,000 francs from banks, the rest is financed by a public limited company created by Eiffel himself.
During the opening ceremony of the Expo on May 6, 1889, Mr. Eiffel hoisted the French flag at the top and was decorated with the Legion of Honor.
The tower will open its doors to the public on May 15, 1889 and visitors will be more and more numerous, until today …