“The Eiffel Tower for the 21st Century”

scintillement at the tour d'eiffel, image: abcparislive.com

This morning on Kurt Andersen’s Studio360, Paul Goldberger suggested “the Eiffel tower of 21st century, something that would use the technology of our time with the brilliance that Eiffel used the technology of the 19th century,” be built at the WTC site. It’s a powerful articulation (7 words, including an ‘of’ and two ‘thes’) of a compelling idea. [Listen here.]
Interestingly, Goldberger discussed a similar idea on Studio360 less than a month after the Towers fell. [Listen here.] Keep your eyes peeled for a 3,500-word theoretical exegesis by Goldberger’s successor at the Times. An unsung but influential force in the Ground Zero rebuilding debate, Goldberger early on uncovered the political playing field of the LMDC and Port Authority, and was the first to publish the early, architects’ conception of the Towers of Light.
Since I once visited Kings Island in Cincinnati as a child, I’ve never felt the urge to go up the Eiffel Tower. (The Ohio version is 1/3 the French one’s height, I was about 1/3 my present height; I get the concept.)
When the French wanted an Eiffel Tower for the 21st century (l’An 2000. Repetez: an deux mille), they got le scintillement: trillions of sparkly lights covering the Tower, which started scintillement-ing on the hour. It was a magical effect that’d stop conversations in Paris…like clockwork.
Get smart: The Eiffel Tower at Wikipedia; Roland Barthes’ The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies; fin de siecle idea for Eiffel Tower base jumping [via gmtPlus9].