Today we give you the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. These were picked by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1994 so don’t expect to see the massive buildings in Dubai or the giant skyscrapers in South East Asia. So settle back and see some truly amazing creations.
Construction on the Panama Canal began in 1880 and finally ended in 1914. The project was started by the French, under the leadership of Ferdinand de Lesseps, but by 1889 the company behind the original construction was going bankrupt so they ceased operations and turned over construction to another French company. Well this didn’t end well either, leading to the United States getting involved. Ultimately the project was completed, a nice side effect of the creation of the canal was the creation of Panama as a country and not just part of Colombia.
The Empire State Building was built in 1931, it has the distinction of being the first building to have over 100 stories, it has a total of 102 floors. The building was created with airships in mind, there is a stairway from the 102nd floor to an area for airships to tether and disembark their passengers. In the 18th century the land started out as the John Thompson far, it would later become occupied by the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel towards the end of the 19th century. Fun fact, the building was somewhat based on the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem North Carolina, and every year the staff of the Empire State Building sends a Father’s Day card to the staff of the Reynolds Building.
Before the Golden Gate Bridge you could only cross the Golden Gate by ferry, the idea to build a bridge was not a new one when they came along in 1933 to finally erect the gate spanning bridge. The person behind the bridge’s design was Irving Morrow, he designed the overall shape and the lighting scheme. The final color, International Orange, was actually just used as a sealant, the US Navy preferred that it be black and yellow to ensure visibility, thankfully they stuck with the orange.
Toronto’s CN Tower was completed in 1976, and at the time of its completion it was the world’s largest free-standing structure. It held the record until 2010 when the Burj Khalifa took the record away by being 907 feet taller. The idea of the CN Tower took root in 1968 when the Canadian National Railway needed a communication tower to serve a growing Toronto. It cost, in 2014 Canadian dollars, $249 million to complete, which to be fair isn’t that expensive for giant buildings these days.
The Itaipu Dam, located between Brazil and Paraguay, has the distinction of being the most productive dam in the world. It was built by both governments, Brazil and Paraguay’s, so it ends up producing an awesome amount of energy for both countries. The construction of the dam began in 1970, and after fourteen years it finally reached completion. The dam may be technically done, but in 2006 they added two more electric generation units, so this may become an even bigger powerhouse in the future.
The Channel Tunnel, or Chunnel to the locals, is a 31 mile long tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent in the UK to Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais in Northern France. The tunnel contains passenger trains and a shuttle for cars, so you can take your journey without having to get a rental car on the other side. The original idea for a tunnel began in 1802, but political reasons made it a moot point for quite a few years to come. Thankfully the project finally commenced in 1987, and after seven years the tunnel linking the UK to the rest of Europe was finally finished.
The Netherlands’ Delta and Zuiderzee Works began in 1920 as a way to keep the ocean at bay, and preserve the low-lying Dutch countryside. These series’ of dams and land reclamation works are considered the largest hydraulic engineering project in twentieth century Netherlands. The Zuiderzee part of the project was instrumental in damming up a large inlet of the North Sea called Zuiderzee. The Delta Works was important in that it was a series of construction projects created to protect a the land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Thanks to both of these groundbreaking projects the country has saved themselves from god knows how much water damage from the ocean.