Fascinating Construction Photos of World Famous Buildings and Bridges

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After spotting these vintage photographs of the construction of the Empire State Building, we got to thinking about one of the reasons why great architecture is so much more than a work of art you can walk through: it’s awfully complicated to create. Explaining the poetic importance of the field, Frank Lloyd Wright, the greatest American architect of all time, made a lofty statement, claiming that “the mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.”

If there’s one thing that these photos of grand buildings and bridges under construction confirms, it’s that being defined as the soul of humanity is well deserved. From the seemingly magical emergence of the Eiffel Tower to the eerie drama of an incomplete Brooklyn Bridge, click through to see the fascinating documentation of some of the world’s most famous designs as they’re being built.

The Empire State Building – New York, New York

Image credit: RETRONAUT

The Eiffel Tower — Paris, France

Image credit: Cabinet of Curiosities; Crooked Brains

Flatiron Building — New York, New York

Image credit: Alexander Alland via The New York Times

The Manhattan Bridge — Brooklyn, New York

Image credit: Special Edition; New York Municipal Archive via Dossier Journal

The Guggenheim — New York, New York

Image credit: William H. Short for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation via Interior Design; Wright on the Web

The Statue of Liberty — New York, New York

Image credit: Quiet Lunch Magazine; funnyenuf; Meine Wunderkammer

The Capitol Building — Washington D.C.

Image credit: DC MetroCentric; Library of Congress via The New York Times

The Golden Gate Bridge — San Francisco, CA

Image credit: Federico de California; Hulton Archive via The New York Times

Pyramide du Louvre — Paris, France

Image credit: Martin Powell

Buckminster Fuller Geodesic Dome — Montreal, Canada

Image credit: Charles Eames via domus

Taj Mahal — Agra, India

Image credit: Search Parineeti

Sydney Opera House — Sydney, Australia

Image credit: Charles Eames via domus

Fallingwater — Mill Run, Pennsylvania

Image credit: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy via Herald Standard; Fallingwater

The Disney Concert Hall — Los Angeles, California

Image credit: Allan Glass; Russell Smith

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao — Bilbao, Spain

Image credit: Guggenheim; moreAEdesign