Friday, August 14, 2020

The Eiffel Tower's Competitors

 From OZY:

With even more architectural fervor, architect Alberto de Palacio Ellisagne designed a 1,000-foot globe for the Chicago expo. Encircling the pseudo-planet would be a spiral stairway running more than half a mile long, leading up to a “North Pole,” where a replica of one of Columbus’ ships would be docked, awaiting visitors. Its Earth-size price tag (roughly $168 million in today’s currency) prevented Palacio from building his better world. It did, however, win him the cover of Scientific American.The motivations driving these monuments was a fevered patriotism that expressed itself through ambitious architecture. “The Crystal Palace in 1851 itself was an amazing ‘signature structure,'” says John Findling, author of America: World’s Fairs in the United States and Encyclopedia of World’s Fairs and Expositions. “From the world’s fairs beginnings, there was an implicit competition among the largest trading nations, with the host country having ‘home court advantage’ to build these edifices. The folks who would soon be putting together the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago were consumed by the idea that they had to ‘out-Eiffel Eiffel’ as a symbol of nationalism.” (Read more.)

No comments: