From Monochrome to Color: Rediscovering Famous Structures

April 19, 2024

Unprecedented Heights: Erecting the Eiffel Tower Presented Novel Engineering Challenges

We've all seen the structures included here, some up close and personal and others in images that try to show the grandiosity of these marvels of human construction. But why look at black and white images of these massive structures when we can bring them to life in vivid color? Each stroke of color revives the past, offering a fresh lens into bygone eras.

So keep scrolling and get transported back in time through these expertly colorized images of some of the most imposing architectural marvels from across the world.



Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tower for the 1889 World's Fair as a monument to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. It took 300 laborers over two years to build it. The tower has over 18,000 individual iron parts, and the tower weighs more than 7,300 tons. These pieces were made away from the building site and moved to the location where others put them in place.

The tower is over 984 feet tall. Employees used a system of movable cranes and platforms at different heights to facilitate construction. It was the tallest man-made structure in the world when work finished on March 31, 1889. Initially, it was supposed to be torn down after the fair. Engineers recognized its potential as a platform for broadcasting radio signals. By the 1920s, antennas were installed atop the tower, transforming it into a vital hub for telecommunications.

Speed of Construction: Completing the Empire State Building in Just Over a Year Required Efficient Coordination

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Workers constructed the Empire State Building in New York City in 410 days, with its official opening held on May 1, 1931. Laborers built the structure during the Great Depression, giving much-needed employment to thousands. Despite its swift completion, the Empire State Building's construction was challenging. The labor force had to use innovative construction methods to complete the project quickly. In many cases, they used prefabricated components.

Different crews were employed on multiple floors simultaneously. Transporting materials and equipment to the top of the Empire State Building required using elevators and hoists. Often, workers stayed in the same position all day, while others used the elevators and hoists to pass tools and materials up to them. Tragically, the frantic construction pace also caused several accidents. For 40 years, the building was the tallest in the world.