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Eiffel Tower

As you drive down I-95 you can see it stretching over the trees. It greets you as you walk into the park. Boarding the elevator you cannot help but feel jammed next to complete strangers. Once the elevator begins it’s ascent at 10 feet per second, you can see the people, rides, and shops getting smaller and smaller thru the windows. Once the elevator comes to a stop, you walk out onto the observation deck. Getting a breath of fresh air, you are welcomed by a continuous breeze. Advancing to the edge of the tower and looking out, you take in the breath taking view of over 1,000 square miles of Virginia. You are eye to eye with Drop Tower and Intimidator 305, and you can hear the screams of park guests rising up and into your ears.

Kings Dominion’s 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower has been the parks icon since it opened in 1975. The structure towers into the sky at 331-feet and 6-inches. It took 6 and half months to build, including 2 months to coat the tower in 1,500 gallons of paint. Workers bolted together 700 tons of steel with 15,000 bolts, and anchored it into the ground using footers that extend 15 feet below the ground. The tower was designed and fabricated in Austria by Intiman AG, and shipped across the ocean on the USS Atlantic Forest. In total the tower cost 2.2 million dollars.
Unfortunately, the Eiffel Tower at Kings Dominion does have some startling history to it. In 1986, Larry Lucas took the elevator up to the observation deck. Around 5:00 PM he climbed the 9-foot restraining barrier that was on the tower at that time, and jumped to his death. Not much is known on why he did it, but there are many stories. One story says that the man had proposed to his girlfriend and she said no, so he committed suicide. Another simply states that the man was mentally disabled. One myth states that the rectangle in the black top around the tower, on the side facing The Grove, is where the man hit the ground.

About Michael

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