Temporary Sights that Became Icons

Famous landmarks anchor us when we travel. You can be in a strange country feeling lost and alone, only to find that a familiar landmark makes you feel right at home.

But did you know that some of the world’s most famous landmarks were only ever supposed to be temporary? Just imagine a world without these iconic sights.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower, Paris

Built as the centrepiece of the 1889 Paris Exposition, the Eiffel Tower was initially opposed by locals. It was due to be demolished in 1909, but proved itself useful as a radio antenna instead.

The London Eye

The London Eye

Opened in 2000 to mark the Millenium, the 443ft high Ferris wheel on London’s South Bank was supposed to last around 5 years. 60 million visitors later and it’s still standing tall.

The Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

These famous letters went up in 1923 to advertise the ‘Hollywoodland’ real estate development. After losing the ‘-land’ and receiving some restoration, the sign is now an American icon.

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

The largest science museum in the western hemisphere was first built with plaster and cement as part of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. It was popular enough to be restored in stone.

The Cenotaph (UK)

The Cenotaph, London

This focal point for the UK’s remembrance was originally erected in wood and plaster as a small part of First World War victory celebrations. The public all but demanded it be made permanent. 


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