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Eiffel Changes Paris Skyline

1889 Eiffel Tower

1889 March 31 - Paris, the graceful capital of measured stone architecture and mellowed historic buildings, received its tallest and brashest tourist attraction yet when the new Eiffel Tower was opened today by French premier Tirard. The soaring skeleton of exposed wrought-iron latticework is by far the tallest man-made structure in the world, standing at almost a fifth of a mile. Only the revolutionary engineering in Alexandre Eiffel's design makes the tower possible: its pylons are curved so precisely that the high wind pressures the top of the tower is subjected to compress the structure on to its base rather than weakening it.

Eiffel also built the steel structure that holds up the Statue of Liberty in New York. It has taken two years to complete the tower in time for this year's Paris Exposition celebrating the centenary of the French Revolution. A monument to the achievements of modern engineering, the 984 ft (300 m) tower dominates the whole city Many Parisians, including the writer Guy de Maupassant, are far from happy that science should so dominate in this world capital of art. Visitors and Parisians both, however, will certainly enjoy ascending effortlessly in the Eiffel Tower's power-driven glass lift cages for the truly wonderful view.