“#EiffelTower, Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower,” reads the claim shared on Facebook on August 16, 2022. 

It was shared alongside a collection of 14 images that show designs for towers, some of which resemble the Eiffel Tower.

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on August 16,

Construction of the Eiffel Tower, designed by the architect Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, began in 1887 and was completed in just twenty-two months.

The same images have also been shared in India alongside a similar claim on Facebook here and here; as well as here on Twitter.

They have circulated in posts worldwide with thousands of shares including here and here on Twitter; and here and here on Facebook. 

However, the claim is false. 

London tower design

Posting as Twitter user @HoaxEye, Finland-based product security professional Janne Ahlberg wrote on August 14 that the images actually show late 19th century designs for “the great Tower of London”.

He shared this link to a July 2012 article published by The Public Domain Review, a UK-based online arts journal and not-for-profit project.

In the article, the caption to the images includes a credit to Getty Images and American Libraries.

It reads: “Descriptive illustrated catalogue of the sixty-eight competitive designs for the great tower for London”.

Below is a screenshot of the first design in the journal: 

A screenshot of the first desig shown in the catalogue (AFP)

According to the journal, 68 designs were submitted for a British architectural competition staged in 1890 to build a structure taller than the Eiffel Tower.

Construction of the winning design — entry number 37 — began in 1892, the journal states, but the project stalled in 1889 after the company responsible went bust.

The tower was eventually demolished in the early 20th century, according to the journal.

Below is a screenshot of the winning design in the journal: 

A screenshot of the winning design in the journal (AFP)

AFP found the same collection of images in this February 2, 2021 article about rejected designs for the tower by New-York based architect Christopher James Botham.

He told AFP the tower — which was only partially completed by Sir Edward Watkin — was intended to be a 358-metre high visitor attraction in Wembley Park, north London.

“It is very interesting that the tower was designed to surpass the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, however, it was never completed and was demolished,” he said.

AFP has previously debunked false French-language posts claiming that 300 workers died during the construction of the Eiffel Tower.


All articles

AFP India

All articles

Facebook Twitter Email

Follow us