The Eiffel Tower is named after the very man who designed and built it: Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. He is considered one of France’s design, engineering and architectural geniuses. He attained the distinction of Legion d’Honneur in France for his work.
Born on the 15th of December 1832 in Côte d’Or, France, Alexandre Eiffel lived to be 91, as he died on the 27th of December 1923. He specialized in the construction of metal structures such as railways and bridges. After qualifying from the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in 1855, Eiffel began work as a project manager. He supervised the constructions of bridges such as the bridge in Bordeaux, on the Garonne River and railway line projects. In 1864, Eiffel set up Eiffel et Cie, his own company which fast gained the reputation of being innovative and economical in its iron and metal edifice designs and specialists in the construction of metal structures.
Eiffel built a other monumental structures. The Ponte Maria Pia, the railway bridge between Porto and Lisbon in Portugal, was only replaced in 1991 by the St John Bridge, but it stood the test of time from 1877. The Garabit Viaduct built in 1884, is a railway bridge over the Truyere River in Cantal, France. In 1885, Eiffel also began the design of France’s gift to the United States: the Statue of Liberty.
Eiffel’s design stood out amongst the over 700 entrants to become the symbol of France’s centennial commemoration of the French Revolution. At first Parisians ridiculed but it fast became the world’s most visited tourist attraction.