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.