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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

They Wouldn’t. Would They?

posted by on March 25 at 19:34 PM

The Guardian Monday reported plans to redesign the slenderizing top of the Eiffel Tower.

Instead of this:


It will (horribly, horribly, and by next year) look like this:


Here’s the info site on the web site of the architectural firm, Serero Architects.

It’s all too much to take in. As Slog tipper Billy Howard wondered, “It’s not quite April Fool’s Day, is it?”

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that makes it the Space Needle!

Posted by spock | March 25, 2008 7:42 PM

Yay France!

Americans are too much snobs to ever touch the Eiffel Tower.

Posted by elenchos | March 25, 2008 7:44 PM

Holy crap, that's horrible. Why not turn the Arc d'Triomphe upside down, and fill the Seine with mayonnaise while they're at it?

Posted by Fnarf | March 25, 2008 7:46 PM

Awesome! Wouldn't it be cool if the Eiffel Tower looked more like the Space Needle?

And maybe next they can modernize the Pyramids. You know, maybe add some curves, like the EMP. And after that, they could spiff up Big Ben; add some glass, like the new Seattle libarary. Yeah. That'd be cool.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | March 25, 2008 7:46 PM

Leave it alone, it's an icon. I would hate it if the the Space Needle looked like the Eiffel Tower and vice versa. Both are great examples of their time. Puke.

Posted by Deacon Seattle | March 25, 2008 7:51 PM

This is so cool. It says Gustave Eiffel designed the tower to support temporary appendages or equipment like this. It's an organic design that is keyed off of the way the original tower is structured, but it shifts to a non-repeating pattern.

Y'll is just afraid to try shit. Gustave Eiffel knew how to live, though.

Posted by elenchos | March 25, 2008 8:01 PM

What's the point? Will we walk around up there, or dine, or BASE jump?

Posted by MyDogBen | March 25, 2008 8:06 PM

A) The structure is temporary, and designed to accomodate more people for the Tower's anniversary celebration.

B) Your reaction is similar to Parisians' reaction to the original tower. I think Monsieur Eiffel would be pleased.

Posted by Lee Gibson | March 25, 2008 8:07 PM

Leave it to the French. First, that god-awful Pompidou Center. Then, the pyramid in front of the Louvre. Now this. Of course the Louvre pyramid does mark the final resting place of the Holy Grail...

Posted by RainMan | March 25, 2008 8:19 PM

Tsk, tsk!

When Eiffel unveiled plans for the Tower, all the "most important" artists in France drafted a petition decrying the "Americanisation of France". Once it went up for the 1889 World's Fair, everyone loved it. After the Fair, no one was quite sure what to do with it. Some thought about tearing it down, others proposed some wildly crazy alternative uses: roller coaster, geyser, lighthouse, etc. (Some of them were really ghastly.) Ultimately they left it more or less alone, but they still dressed it up from time to time. For the 1925 Art Deco Exhibit, there were patterns of lights forming stars up and down; it was really beautiful.

The lesson is that all the artists originally protested the Tower and then looked foolish afterwards. When I.M. Pei proposed the glass pyramid for the Louvre, they learned their lesson: everyone welcomed the change and kept quiet.

You'll get used to it. You'll probably even like it. But you can't expect it to remain the same forever.

(True story: I was showing an out-of-town friend around Seattle one day, and as we drove by the EMP he asked, "Oh, what are they tearing down here?")

Posted by MichaelPgh | March 25, 2008 9:04 PM

It's temporary, retard. Fucking read the article, moron.

Posted by Catman | March 25, 2008 9:08 PM

It is bold - I like that. It's organic in the way Eiffel's cast iron is organic - and it's a newer component, carbon fiber. It's very much a French thing - all the filigree definitely places this art in Paris. And it's so like the French to come out of nowhere with something like this. Why not?

Posted by chas Redmond | March 25, 2008 9:09 PM

that makes me want to cry.

Posted by angelfish | March 25, 2008 9:11 PM

They didn't want it, but he built it anyway.

Posted by Black Francis | March 25, 2008 9:21 PM

hm, not crap. I like. Temporary.

Mobile. Sans serif. Tres bien.

Et exactemente ou est qu'on trouve les croques monsieurs?

Posted by unPC | March 25, 2008 9:27 PM


Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | March 25, 2008 9:43 PM

I'd love to see before/after comparisons that either both at night or both taken in the day... That said, it does look very Space Needle-ish, and no 120 year-old structure should look Space Needle-ish.

Posted by Eric Reynolds | March 25, 2008 9:45 PM

"Serero Architects in Paris have submitted plans to build the TEMPORARY addition to the city's most famous building, which would double the capacity of the public viewing area on top floor."

Posted by it's only temporary | March 25, 2008 10:06 PM

It won't matter at all from the tower's best angle - the most comfortable angle to gaze at it from if you are in Paris SDF in the evening.
One question: will they have to redo the millions of tourist models they sell all over city?
One other more philosophical question: will this make the Las Vegas replica more authentic than the one in Paris?

Posted by kinaidos | March 25, 2008 10:48 PM

Of course when the Space Needle is 120 years old people will be debating whether its appearance should be altered. (Seattle will probably still be debating whether to build a light rail system, but I digress). Maybe it just takes time for a structure to go from bold and stunning to hideously ugly to a classic work of art.

The Space Needle is just having a midlife crisis. It's too old to look sparkling new but too young to be revered as a masterpiece like the Eiffel Tower. As someone who predates the opening of the Space Needle to Worlds Fair revelers by less than a week I know the feeling...

Posted by RainMan | March 25, 2008 10:50 PM

My god, it IS the space needle! With a wide stance!

Posted by w7ngman | March 25, 2008 11:34 PM


Posted by the noid | March 25, 2008 11:45 PM

I love it!

(caveat - I've been there four times since I was 16, and love the post office at mid-section)

Gonna be fun ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 26, 2008 12:00 AM

This is awesome! I love it too!

Posted by Eliza | March 26, 2008 12:27 AM

fuck. is NOTHING sacred anymore?
glad I got to see it before it turned into a starkly mess. fuck sparkles.

Posted by catnextdoor | March 26, 2008 1:18 AM


Posted by ace | March 26, 2008 1:43 AM

Man, this would be way cooler if the new platform looked more like a giant sombrero.

Posted by Mike | March 26, 2008 6:24 AM

@15, try Café Presse 12th or Le Pichet on 1st because ça ne fait rien, j'ai du papier. Ou peut-être, des saucisses sans doute.

Posted by Spoogie | March 26, 2008 7:24 AM

I didn't know you could undo a circumcision.

Posted by Giffy | March 26, 2008 7:59 AM

Oh, and Marcel Duchamp put a moustache on the Mona Lisa. Mon dieu!

Posted by Gloria | March 26, 2008 8:01 AM


"When I.M. Pei proposed the glass pyramid for the Louvre, they learned their lesson: everyone welcomed the change and kept quiet."

Really? I spent the summer of 1989 in Paris, and I heard nothing BUT complaints and bitching about the Pei pyramids.

And while I'm hardly a Francophile, I had to agree with what seemed to be at the time the popular opinion: I think the Pei pyramids are butt-ugly and a horrid stylistic clash with the Louvre surroundings.

Posted by cinenaut | March 26, 2008 9:39 AM

Little Eiffel, Little Eiffel

Posted by lar | March 26, 2008 10:29 AM

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