What famous landmarks looked like while under construction


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When we visit some of the world’s most famous landmarks, we marvel at the final product, snap a photo, share it on social media, and cross it off our bucket list. But how often do you actually think about how these famous destinations were built and when?

Well, we have the answer.s Here’s what 22 world-famous landmarks looked like while under construction.

Statue of Liberty
Left: Wikipedia Right: upthebanner

The Statue of Liberty, the United States

Construction started: 1885

Completed:  1887

Located in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886. It was a gift from France commemorating the United States’ commitment to freedom and democracy. The statue was created by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who modeled Lady Liberty’s face after his mother. Standing at 305.5 feet, the statue itself is just 151 feet tall, but the base it stands upon is 154 feet.

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Tower Bridge
Left: Wikipedia/Public Domain Right: TomasSereda/iStock

Tower Bridge, the United Kingdom

Construction started: 1886

Completed: 1894

Prior to the Tower Bridge’s construction, pedestrians had to cross the Thames river via Tower Subway, a 410-meter (1,345-foot) tunnel. It took eight years, 432 construction workers, and 31 million bricks to build the massive structure. Once it was completed, Prince Edward (the future King Edward VII) and his wife officially opened the bridge in June 1894.

Washington Monument
Left: Wikipedia Right: bloodua/iStock

Washington Monument, the United States

Construction Started: 1848

Construction Completed: 1884

Towering over Washington, D.C., the 555-foot marble obelisk was built to honor George Washington, the first president of the United States. Throughout its construction—which took a staggering 40 years — the monument was beset by difficulties, including fundraising challenges. Two phases of construction took place, one private (1848-1854) and one public (1876-1884).

Eiffel Tower
Left: Wikipedia/Public Domain Right: Vasilii Binzari/Istock

Eiffel Tower, France

Construction started: 1887

Completed: 1894

“La Tour Eiffel” has towered over Paris since it was revealed as the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, the structure comprises 18,000 pieces of wrought iron. When it was completed, the “Iron Lady” measuring 1,063 feet — was the tallest building in the world.

Brooklyn bridge
Left: Wikipedia/Public Domain Right: SeanPavonePhoto/iStock

Brooklyn Bridge, the United States

Construction started: 1869

Construction completed: 1883

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognizable parts of the New York skyline and is among the most visited landmarks in the United States. Designed by German-American civil engineer John A. Roebling, construction of the bridge began in 1869, and it took 14 years and $15 million (more than $440 million in today’s dollars) to complete it. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world and the first to use steel as cable wire. More than two dozen people died during construction of the bridge.

Sagrada Familia
Left: Wikipedia/Public Domain Right: ValeryEgorov/iStock

Sagrada Familia, Spain

Construction started: 1882

Completed: Planned for 2026*

Barcelona’s Sagrada Família, designed by the revered Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí is one of the most esteemed architectural marvels in the world. This Gothic and Byzantine-influenced cathedral has been under construction since 1882 and is still unfinished. By the time of Gaudi’s death in 1926, the cathedral was only one-quarter done. The massive structure it’s expected to be finished by 2026, in time for the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death.

Manhattan bridge
Left: Wikipedia Right: Ultima_Gaina/Istock

Manhattan Bridge, the United States

Construction started: 1901

Completed: 1909

Completed in 1909, the Manhattan Bridge was the youngest of the three NYC East River suspension bridges. It was the first bridge built using deflection theory, an experimental engineering principle at the time that suggested it was best to rely on a suspension bridges’ inherent structure instead of trusses with heavy stiffening.

Flatiron Building
Left: Wikipedia Right: AlessandroColle/iStock

Flatiron Building, the United States

Construction started: 1902

Construction completed: 1902

Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the wedge-shaped Flatiron Building was completed in just one year. The now iconic building was originally known as the Fuller Building in honor of George A Fuller, the founder of the Fuller Company, which constructed it as the company’s headquarters. Completed in 1902, it was one of New York’s first skyscrapers and the first steel-skeleton structure whose construction was visible to the public.

Panama Canal
left: Wikipedia Right: vilant/iStock

Panama Canal, Panama

Construction started: 1904

Construction completed: 1914

It took more than ten years, 40,000 workers, and a staggering 25,000 lives lost to build the Panama Canal. When the construction started in 1904, the canal builders quickly discovered that building a waterway across a narrow strip of land looked easier on a map than in practice. Construction workers moved mountains in a snake-infested jungle with an average temperature of 80 degrees and an average rainfall of 105 inches per year. When it was finally completed in 1914, the Panama Canal fulfilled a centuries-old dream of connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that had previously seemed impossible.

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Lincoln Memorial
Left: Wikipedia Right: Marcio Silva/iStock

Lincoln Memorial, the United States

Construction started: 1914

Completed: 1922

It took eight years to build the Lincoln Memorial, which was completed in 1922. This monument was designed by New York architect Henry Bacon and includes 122 concrete piers and stones from throughout the United States (including Alabama, Colorado, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Georgia) to represent reunification.

Christ the Redeemer
Left: Desconhecidos / Wikimedia Commons Right: DepositPhotos.com

Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil

Construction started: 1922

Completed: 1931

It took 10 years for the Christ the Redeemer statue to be completed. Towering over Rio de Janeiro, at 98 feet tall, the massive statue sits atop Mount Corcovado,  which means “hunchback” in Portuguese. Christ the Redeemer is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, attracting approximately 2 million visitors per year from all over the globe.

Hoover Dam
Left: Wikipedia Right: Sean Pavone/iStock

Hoover Dam, the United States

Construction started: 1931

Completed: 1936

Hoover Dam was built during the Great Depression to protect cities and farms from floods caused by the Colorado River. Dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Sept. 30, 1935, it took five years, thousands of workers, and the loss of more than 100 lives to complete the dam.

Empire State
Left: Wikipedia Right: StockByM/iStock

Empire State Building, the United States

Construction started: 1930

Completed: 1931

The 103-story art deco gem has been an essential part of New York City’s skyline since 1936, when it was completed after a record-breaking one year and 45 days of construction. Standing 1,454 feet tall it was the tallest building in the world until the ’70s when it was surpassed by the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Golden Gate
Left: Wikipedia/Public Domain Right: bloodua/iStock

Golden Gate Bridge, the United States

Construction started: 1933

Completed:  1937

The Golden Gate Bridge was designed to connect the San Francisco Peninsula to northern California. It took four years to complete the bridge, which

spans 8,981 feet and weighs 887,000 tons. The Golden Gate was the world’s longest suspension bridge until 1964, when it was surpassed by New York’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Left: Wikipedia Right: ekinyalgin/iStock

Atomium, Belgium

Construction started: 1957

Construction completed: 1958

This atom-shaped monument in Brussels, Belgium, was originally built for “Expo ’58,” the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. Standing 334 feet high, it is meant to represent a crystallized iron molecule that has been magnified about 165 billion times. While initially intended as a temporary structure, after several renovations, the Atomium remains one of Belgium’s most visited attractions.

Opera House
Left: Wikipedia Right: ai_yoshi/iStock

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Construction started: 1959

Completed:  1973

It took 14 years, 10,000 workers, and 1 million tiles to build the modern expressionist building. A total of $78 million was spent on constructing Australia’s most recognizable landmark. Queen Elizabeth II formally opened the building in 1973 and made four subsequent visits.

Space Needle
Left: Seattle Municipal Archives / Wikimedia Commons Right: Ceri Breeze/iStock

Space Needle, the United States

Construction started: 1961

Completed: 1961

Seattle’s Space Needle was the vision of Edward E. Carlson, chairman of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle who had an idea of a restaurant that was built atop a tower. Standing at 605 feet tall, the Space Needle was the tallest building in the western United States when it was completed.


Gateway Arch
Left: Wikipedia Right: f11photo/iStock

Gateway Arch, the United States

Construction started: 1963

Construction completed: 1965

Designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, it took three years and $13 million (equivalent to about $122 million in 2022) to construct the Gateway Arch, which opened to the public in 1967. Measuring 630 feet tall, the stainless steel structure located in St. Louis, Missouri, is the world’s tallest arch and the tallest human-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.

The Louvre
Left: Joseolgon / Wikimedia Commons Right: AndreyKrav/iStock

The Louvre Pyramid, France

Construction started: 1987

Construction completed: 1989

The iconic glass pyramid atop the iconic French museum was built in 1989 to make more space for the increasing number of visitors.

The pyramid structure was designed by the Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei and is constructed entirely with glass and metal poles. It reaches a height of 71 feet.

Burj Khalifa
Left: Soonadracula/Wikimedia Commons Right: FevreDream/Istock

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Construction started: 2004

Completed:  2009

Standing 2,716.5 feet tall, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is currently the tallest building in the world. The skyscraper was completed in 2009 after five years of construction and holds several architectural records, including the highest restaurant from ground level, the tallest elevator in the world and the most floors in a building (163).

Shanghai Tower
Left: TheDarkCurrent / Wikimedia Commons Right: Eugeneonline/iStock

Shanghai Tower, China

Construction started: 2008

Construction completed: 2015

Measuring 2073.49081365 feet, Shanghai Tower is the tallest structure in China and the second tallest in the world. After seven years of construction, the 128-story spiral-shaped skyscraper was officially completed in 2015 and opened to the public in 2016. Rising above Shanghai’s financial district, it is one of the most remarkable architectural marvels in the world.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.