EIFFEL AND WATKIN’S TOWER

Monkey members were recently challenged to draw the Eiffel Tower, which were then posted to Instagram on Thursday, November 28th at our regular posting times for the Monkey Side Bars game.  Some drawings are still drifting in and the competition closes tomorrow, December 1st for judging.

Monkey Side Bars would like to give a big thank you for the tremendous ingenuity we have seen so far on all the drawings received.

Whilst we wait in anticipation for the three winners to be announced lets soak up some more Eiffel trivia whilst going under the bridges of Paris with you sung by Eartha Kitt – video by Paul Austin.

The London Stump…

Watkin’s Tower was a partially completed iron lattice tower in London, England, UK. Its construction was an ambitious project to create a 358-metre (1,175ft)-high visitor attraction in Wembley Park to the north of the city, led by the railway entrepreneur Sir Edward Watkin.  Marketed as the “Great Tower of London”, it was designed to surpass the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The tower was never completed and it was demolished in 1904. The site of the tower is now occupied by the English national football ground, Wembley Stadium.  The construction company experienced problems financing the project and went into voluntary liquidation in 1899. Work stopped, and the tower was never completed. Watkin died in 1901, and with halted construction, the “unsafe” site was closed to the public the following year.The completed section of the tower was demolished using dynamite in 1904 to 1907.

Inspired by the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, Watkin invited Gustave Eiffel himself to design the tower, but the Frenchman declined – replying that if he designed the tower, the French people “would not think me so good a Frenchman as I hope I am.

They proposed an eight-legged 1,200-foot (366m) metal tower – 45.8 meters (150ft) taller than the Eiffel Tower, which was 312.2 meters (1,024ft) at the time. It was to have two observation decks – each with restaurants, theaters, dancing rooms and exhibitions – winter gardens, Turkish baths and a 90-bedroom hotel. The top of the tower, reached by a system of elevators, was to provide a fresh-air sanatorium and an astronomical observatory, taking advantage of the clearer air offered by the altitude. The entire structure was to be illuminated by electric light.

Numerous names were given to the tower during its planning, construction and legacy. These include Watkin’s Tower, Watkin’s Folly, the Wembley Park Tower, the Wembley Tower, the Metropolitan Tower, and the London Stump.

The story of Watkin’s Tower is recounted briefly in the 1973 BBC documentary by Sir John Betjeman, Metro-land, which also shows some of the unsuccessful designs for the tower. The script for Metro-land can be found in Betjeman’s England, a collection of writings by John Betjeman published in 2009.

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