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West Tennessee Treasures - Paris - Eiffel Tower

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

Take a trip to the Eiffel Tower without even saying, "Bon jour!"

"We have the second tallest Eiffel tower in a city named Paris," said Paris City Manager, Carl Holder.

Standing 60 feet tall - or just 920 feet shorter than the one in France - Paris, Tennessee's original Eiffel Tower was built by Christian Brothers University for a "Memphis in May" project in the early 1990s.

"A couple of years later, they were going to have to take it down," said Holder. "And it occurred, 'Well, we hate to destroy this fine piece of art, so let's see if maybe the city of Paris would like it.'"

The city accepted, but not without problems.

"It was made of steel rods and untreated wood," said Holder.

City workers spent years trying to preserve the tower, but eventually a permanent metal structure had to replace it.

The rest was history.

"It's become very much a symbol," said Holder. "Most of our materials we use for promoting tourism or promoting our community. We use this as a symbol."

With Eiffel Towers everywhere, Paris, Tennessee is just one more stop on the "world map" of the Volunteer State.

"In Tennessee, we always joke we have a Paris, we have a Moscow, and we have a 'Milan' - or Milan," said Holder.

Paris, Tennessee's Eiffel Tower is one of over 30 replicas around the world.
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