Well there is literally nothing about this not to love. In 1889 the city of Paris unveiled the Eiffel Tower, and in the true spirit of historical (and sometimes petty) intercity rivalry, London was not going to stand idly by. A public design competition was launched to come up with the British version of the landmark, The Great Tower For London and in the end 68 suggestions made the cut for this showcase catalogue. Now the Public Domain Review has made it available online and it will tickle those with a penchant for old books and/or some truly bizarre architecture.
It must be said that many of the designs have been maybe, um, a little too inspired by their Parisian counterpart but some are just tremendously bonkers. In the end financial difficulties meant the winning design only rose to 47 metres before work on it stopped but the site lives on in British cultural significance as it is now where our national stadium Wembley is located.
Spend some time flicking through this extraordinary book – thrillingly each design comes with some details as to cost, materials and extra features so you too can pick a winner. Marvellous.
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- Anja Wicki's sarcastically sweet comic illustrations
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- The Gentlewoman’s art director, Veronica Ditting gives us a peek at her bookshelf