Famous Landmarks Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before — Unfinished

Published June 27, 2017
Updated April 22, 2019

Rare photographs of the world's most famous landmarks when they were still under construction.

Eiffel Tower Under Construction
Empire State Building Construction
Empire State Building Girder
Mount Rushmore Plan
Famous Landmarks Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before — Unfinished
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There are some landmarks that it’s hard to imagine the world without. These are buildings and monuments so iconic that, today, it's easier to think of them as an eternal part of our world rather than anything that was made by mere human beings.

There was a time, though, when these famous landmarks were nothing more than an idea in their creators' minds, nothing more than plans and scaffolds created by people who had no way of knowing whether their work would last forever or whether it would be forgotten tomorrow.

After the plans were set, then came construction, which called for strength, creativity, and incredibly hard work. Teams of workers climbed up scaffolding and girders hundreds, if not thousands, of feet into the air, putting together what would soon become the Empire State Building or Mount Rushmore.

Aside from their construction alone, some of these famous landmarks went through incredible journeys. The Statue of Liberty was built in Paris, where its head was put on exhibition as a work of art on its own before making the long journey across the ocean to America. Other landmarks saw horrible tragedies, like the Hoover Dam, the perilous construction of which took the lives of more than 100 workers.

Here, in tribute to the architects and laborers who created the famous landmarks that would be permanently etched onto the face of the world, are some incredible photographs of these landmarks under construction. These photos provide a glimpse of these landmarks as they once were, before completion; when human mind and muscle were put to the task of creating something that would far outlive the people who made it.

Next, check out some fascinating Eiffel Tower facts and see the famous landmark under construction. Then, have a look at the abandoned communist monuments of the USSR.

Mark Oliver
Mark Oliver is a writer and teacher, and father whose work has appeared on The Onion's StarWipe, Yahoo, and Cracked.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Oliver, Mark. "Famous Landmarks Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before — Unfinished." AllThatsInteresting.com, June 27, 2017, https://allthatsinteresting.com/famous-landmarks. Accessed May 18, 2024.