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Reflexion about Engineering architecture and beauty, The Eiffel Tower 14th February 1887

40 Famous Artist Signed a letter published in the pages of “Le Temps”.

Charles Gounod, Guy de Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas the Younger and other knowed in that time...

Protested “in the ignored name of French taste, in the threatened name of French art and history, against the erection in the very heart of our capital of the useless and

monstrouss Eiffel Tower which popular illfeeling, so often an arbiter of good sense

and justice has already Christenned the Tower of Babel . Is the city of Paris no longer to associate itself with the outlandish mercenary fancies of a constructor of works of engineering thereby making itself irreparable ugly and brinding dishonour?

Because the Eiffel Tower, unwanted even by commercial America, is, no doubt about

it, The dishonour of Paris.

Eiffel responded by emphasizing the intrinsic beauty of the piece.

Because we are engineers, is one to believe that we give no thought to beauty in our designs or that we do not seek to create elegance as well as solidity and durability? Is it not true that the very conditions that give strength also conform to the hidden rules of harmony?.

The criticism burnt itself out in the presence of the completed masterpiece and in the light of the enormous popular succes with which it was greeted.

From TASCHEN book, The Eiffel Tower

April 2011 Mateo de Guadalfajara


Engineering and architecture reflexion