The Two Towers of Paris – Tennessee and Texas

Two Towers
A Tale of Two Towers

This is a tale of Two Towers – both in a place named Paris, but one is in Tennessee and the other in Texas. The map below shows that they are about 8 hours away from each other.

Paris2ParisMap
Paris, TN and Paris, TX – Home of the battling Two Towers

There are seventeen towns in the U.S. with the name of Paris (and one in Ontario, Canada as well — and I lived there for a while).  I have been to Paris in Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Idaho, Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri.  But the towns of Paris, TX and Paris, TN are the only ones to have an Eiffel Tower that is fairly large.  Paris, Michigan has a smaller one.  And there are a couple of other places, such as Atlanta, Austin and Las Vegas that have them…. but I am focused on the Paris versions. See this page for a list of NINE replicas around the world.

Paris, TX
Paris, TX
Paris, TN
Paris, TN

I took a road trip to Galveston in June 2014 and along the way I had occasion to pass through both of these towns named Paris (Paris, TX and Paris, TN) and capture their versions of the Eiffel Tower.  (I’ll have some posts about my trip through the state of TN, MS, LA, TX, AR, MO and some of the unique places I visited coming in August 2014).

Eiffel Tower in Paris, Tennessee is 60 feet tall
Eiffel Tower in Paris, Tennessee is 60 feet tall

Both of these towers were built in 1993 and a battle ensued for the tallest.  At first, the Tennessee version of the Eiffel Tower was originally built in 1990 at Christian Brothers University, but was later donated to the town of Paris, where is was moved and reassembled. The tower was designed to scale by Tom Morrison, professor emeritus of civil engineering; Jim Jacobs, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; and Roland Raffanti, engineering lab technician, from Christian Brothers University. According to Brother Patrick O’Brien, Morrison designed the model’s design based on the original drawings of Gustave Eiffel. At 60 feet tall, the tower is a nearly perfect 1:20 scale replica of the original.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, TX Texas’s was built by the Boilermakers 902, a labor union representing workers of the former Babcock and Wilcox Paris Plant, and was 65 feet tall.

Eiffel Tower in Tennessee goes to 70 feet in 1998
Eiffel Tower in Tennessee goes to 70 feet in 1998

In 1998 when Tennessee moved its’ tower to Paris they expanded their tower to 70 feet.  But, the Texans wouldn’t have it. They made the claim of being “The second largest Paris in the World,” so in 1998 town boosters added a large red cowboy hat to the top of the 65 foot tower, which made it a tad taller than Tennessee’s tower.

The Paris, Texas Eiffel Tower with a Cowboy Hat on top
The Paris, Texas Eiffel Tower with a Cowboy Hat on top

Both are dwarfed by the massive Eiffel Tower replica in Las Vegas, but in the battle of the American Paris Towers, currently, the Texas version holds true to things being bigger in Texas….

 

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4 Replies to “The Two Towers of Paris – Tennessee and Texas”

  1. I personally think the cowboy hat is tacky!! We used to fly a French flag from our tower, but quit the practice because it became a rite of passage for high school age boys to climb up and swipe it. Yes, I discovered one in my then, 16 year old sons’ room.
    I guess I will have to renew the practice to top that danged hat!!

    Carl Holder
    City Manager
    Paris, TN

    1. Carl: I appreciate your kind response to the “Twin Towers” post and got quite a chuckle with your adding fuel to the fire. Maybe you need a big catfish on top, instead of a flag!! Fight tacky with tacky!! Talk about a new drawing card for us offbeat travel bloggers and Roadside America to drool over….

      But, I guess a flag would work as well.

      I have seen a lot of reports that differ on “Official Heights” of both. Seems that after you moved yours to its present location you also made it a bit taller.

      I call for an official measurement of both to settle the current battle and then, if the Tennessee one is shorter, you can go after the Texas for a topper. And I think the Catfish is perfect (see my most recent post as I mention your Fish Fry…)

      Cheers
      David

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