The 68 Proposed ‘Great Tower(s) For London’ That Would Have Surpassed The Eiffel Tower



Great Tower For London

Click the image above for full height comparison

In 1890 Sir Edward Watkin - a British MP and Chairman of the Metropolitan Railway (now part of London Underground) - held a design competition for the "Great Tower For London" that would have rivaled (or in many cases surpassed) Gustave Eiffel's tower in Paris. In total 68 designs were submitted. You can see a full height comparison of each design by clicking the image above. (created by reddit user herky140).

The Tower was going to be the centrepiece of an amusement park located in Wembley, which would have served as a tourist attraction to lure rail customers out from central London. The winning design would have been 1,200 feet (366m) tall, over 150 feet (45m) taller than the Eiffel Tower. However, the scheme slowly ran out of money and only ever reached a height of 154 feet (47m).

Thus, the tower was nicknamed Watkins Folly and the London Stump. However, all was not lost as Wembley Park turned out to be rather popular. In 1924 the site was picked as the location for the British Empire Exhibition Stadium, better known today as Wembley Stadium.

You can see some of the other proposed designs below:

Great Tower For London Design No.6

No. 6 2,000ft (610m); Cost in 1890: £1-3 million pounds

Great Tower For London Design No.9

No. 9 1,500ft (457m); Cost in 1890: £200k

Great Tower For London Design No.12

No. 12 1,200ft (366m); Cost in 1890: none given

Great Tower For London Design No.17

No. 17 1,200ft (366m); Cost in 1890: £400k

Great Tower For London Design No.18

No. 18 1,820ft (555m); Cost in 1890: £1 million

Great Tower For London Design No.22 and 23

No. 22 1,274ft (388m); Cost in 1890:£537k and No.23 2,000 ft (610m); Cost in 1890: £120k

no29

No. 29 2,296ft (700m); Cost in 1890: £1.1 million

Great Tower For London Design No.38

No. 38 2,007ft (612m); Cost in 1890: £525k

no40

No. 40 1,670ft (509m); Cost in 1890: £1.3 million

Great Tower For London Design No.44

No. 44 1,200ft (366m); Cost in 1890: £155k

Great Tower For London Design No.46

No. 46 1,470ft (448m); Cost in 1890: £330k

Great Tower For London Design No.64

No. 64 1,450ft (441m); Cost in 1890: none given

Great Tower For London Design No.65

No. 65 1,236ft (377m); Cost in 1890: none given

Great Tower For London Final Design

Final design 1,200ft (366m); max built height 154ft (47m); Initial cost estimate in 1890: £352k; final amount spent: unknown.

Current Wembley Satdium for comparison

Today's Wembley Stadium 440ft (134m); Estimated total cost in 2007: £757 million

You can see pictures of all the proposed designs here or learn more from Wikipedia. Have a favourite design? Let me know in the comment section below:



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