The Pleasure Tower That Never Was

Pleasure Tower Concept - France, 1933

‘Phare du Monde’ Concept – Designed by Eugène Freyssinet, France, 1933 (h/t

Phare du Monde (“Lighthouse of the world”) was an observation tower planned for the 1937 World Fair in Paris, France. The Phare du Monde, advertised as a “Pleasure Tower Half Mile High” was designed by Eugène Freyssinet, and was to be a 701 metre (2,300 feet) tall concrete tower with a light beacon and a restaurant on the top. A spiralling road on the outside of the tower shaft was to be built for driving access to a height of 1,640 feet, to a parking garage for 500 cars. This focus on the car in such an eye-catching construction has been seen as proof of the car (by 1939) having become “the primary force in determining the appearance of the ordinary landscape of cities.” The costs were estimated to have been $2.5 million; it was never built.


This image is from the, July, 1933, issue of Modern Mechanix Magazine. To read the article click here. It’s interesting that most of the comments on that post refer to the dangers of the outside spiraling auto ramp. Even with today’s standards that would be a daring proposal. Perhaps this part of the design was one of the major stumbling blocks in having the tower built.

Still, it was a grand idea.

11 thoughts on “The Pleasure Tower That Never Was

    • It all seemed to be very exciting. There was so much enthusiasm for the world of tomorrow today – with each nation trying to best the other. I’d rather have that kind of playful competition than the world of today where most things are based on artificial markets or means of destruction.


      • We come close with the Olympics…must investment in infrastructure, welcoming visitors, hosting an amazing event, making memories with the best intentions…the spirit of the games is similar to the spirit of the WFs…


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