The Eiffel Tower was almost demolished in 1909. But why would the centerpiece of French culture and architectural innovation face the wrecking ball, and what saved it? Well, it was only designed for one purpose, and one of the most ordinary of devices prevented its ultimate destruction.
When construction work on the Eiffel Tower commenced in January, 1887, the purpose of the tower was to provide an entrance to the World’s Fair, and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The majestic spire was never intended to be a permanent structure. It was only supposed to serve its job during the World’s Fair, then face demolition 20 years after it was completed in 1909. It does seem peculiar that a national symbol of just about everything French would be destroyed, but when it was first made it wasn’t even popular.