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Comparison of Beacon of Progress with Great Monuments of the World
Named collection: Désiré Despradelle Collection
Object type: drawing
Maker: Despradelle, Constant Désiré
Date made: ca. 1900
Materials: paper; board; reprographic print
Measurements: 14 in x 21 in
Plan type/view: perspective elevation
Comparison of Beacon of Progress with an American office building, Saint Peter's (Rome), Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Cologne Cathedral, Washington Monument, Acropolis, and Great Pyramid. Annotated on verso in black ink "Despradelle, Constant D." and "CDD11" and in pencil "2498, 22 x 28, 671 de, h[?] mot."
The "Comparison" graphically demonstrates the scale of Despradelle¿s ambitions. The Beacon, at 1500 feet high, would have dwarfed all existing structures including Gustave Eiffel's Tower for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889, still the tallest structure in the world in 1912. If built today, the Beacon would be higher than the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago and the second tallest habitable structure in the country, some 200 feet shorter than the recently completed One World Trade Center in New York.