9 Historical Photos of Famous Landmarks Under Construction

These photos provide a whole new glimpse at Notre Dame Cathedral, the Statue of Liberty, and more.

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Paris, France - Tour Eiffel, Construction Work, 1889

The Eiffel Tower

Construction work began on the Eiffel Tower in January of 1887 and was completed on March 31st, 1889. Going from start to finish in barely over two years, this construction was considered record-breaking in many ways. This monument is well-known to many people, but did you know that the Eiffel Tower has a secret room?

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Luang Pu Thuat Statue Under Construction On White Sky Background
krithnarong Raknagn/Shutterstock

Luang Pu Thuat Statue

Statues of Luang Pu Thuat are scattered throughout Thailand, but none equals this one’s magnitude. This statue, located in Southern Thailand, depicts the revered Buddhist monk and is flocked to by locals and tourists alike. This statue is a place of worship for the Buddhist people, and as such, both worshipers and visitors are encouraged to abide by a more conservative dress code.

These are the places in Southeast Asia you must visit in your lifetime!

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VARIOUS Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota: c. 1938. Workmen on the faces of Mount Rushmore. Roosevelt has the scaffolding over his face.
Underwood Archives/UIG/Shutterstock

Mount Rushmore

The original plans for Mount Rushmore included full body carvings and a different lineup of the four presidents featured; however, budgeting and constraints with the existing rock face left the designer and sculptors with the necessity for a few last-minute changes. Seeing the etching of our 14th president this close is quite striking, but these 11 famous landmarks—including Mount Rushmore—look completely different from a distance.

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Historical Collection 158

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge was built in 1923. Not everyone was happy about construction when it started, as the company who oversaw the bridge’s building demolished an estimated 469 buildings on either side to create the foundations and surrounding infrastructure necessary.

Check out these eerily gorgeous churches from around the world!

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VARIOUS San Francisco, California: October 16, 1936. The Golden Gate Bridge under construction, with the roadbed being suspended from the cables.
Underwood Archives/UIG/Shutterstock

Golden Gate Bridge

The five-year construction of the Golden Gate Bridge ended in 1937, revealing one of the most iconic landmarks on the West Coast. But did you know that one of the original proposals was to build an underwater tunnel instead, to direct vehicle traffic underneath the boats? So the famous Golden Gate bridge is one of the iconic American landmarks that almost didn’t exist!

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Notre Dame De Paris (ipa: [n?t? Dam D? Pa?i]; French For Our Lady Of Paris) Also Known As Notre Dame Cathedral Or Simply Notre Dame Is A Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral On The Eastern Half Of The Ale De La Cita In The Fourth Arrondissement Of Paris F
Associated Newspapers/Shutterstock

Notre Dame

The Notre Dame de Paris, or Our Lady of Paris, is an iconic landmark in the heart of Paris. Originally built between 1163 and 1345 A.D., this building has been restored and reconstructed numerous times. This image shows the restoration of damage in the mid-1940s after the cathedral withstood four days of relentless attack by the German forces, as it was being used as the center for the French Resistance against the Nazis.

Did you know that the Notre Dame is one of the most Instagrammed destinations in the world?

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Scaffolding Law Costs, New York, USA
Dave Pickoff/AP/Shutterstock

Statue of Liberty

This statue had a long life well before it was installed on Liberty Island. It was displayed in pieces during the World’s Fair in Paris in 1878 and didn’t even make its way to the United States until 1885. Additional construction has been done on the statue numerous times since then, but this image shows the scaffolding that went up during a two-year restoration project that began in 1984.

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Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch is synonymous with the city of St. Louis. Shown here as it nears completion in 1965, this monument will gain six more feet in height when the final pieces are put in place over the next few days after this shot, bringing it to a grand total of 630 feet.

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Historical Collection 150

Big Ben

Big Ben, the emblematic clock on the north end of Westminster Palace, was originally completed in 1859. This rendering from 1855 shows the staging for the new bridge, as well as the shell for what will become St. Stephen’s Tower (eventually renamed “Big Ben”) undergoing work in the background. It’s incredible to see how far it’s come!

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