As iconic as the Eiffel Tower is to the world today, apparently the Iron Lady had a rocky start.The massive steel structure almost tore the city of lights apart. It debuted on March 31st, 1889, 126 years ago today.

According to, the project was called a disaster by many in France they saw it has a World’s Fair gimmick and they hoped it would be demolished in the end.

France held a contest, wanted someone to design a striking centerpiece fir the 1889 World’s Fair that would celebrate the downfall of the Bastille. Enter, Gustave Eiffel. He had experience in building railroad bridges., His proposal was for a new monument,a tower that looked extremely industrial.

Vox goes on to say that as it turned out, French officials liked Eiffel’s plan because he had technical expertise and an ambition to set new records for height.Eiffel wanted the French to have the tallest building in the world according to Jill Jonnes, author of Eiffel’s Tower.