22 Rare Photos Of Famous Landmarks BEFORE They Were Finished. #5 Is Mind-Blowing.


The Sydney Opera House under construction in the 1960's.

You'd probably only have to see a small glimpse of the Lincoln Memorial to be able to identify it, and most people recognize the Eiffel Tower without giving it much thought. That's because buildings and monuments like this are so iconic, they've simply become ingrained in our minds.

But what did these historic structures look like before they were historic?

Below are 22 of the world's most famous landmarks, pictured before they became famous. After browsing these photos, you might find it hard to believe that the Statue of Liberty ever used to look like that!

Cultural Collections

Christ the Redeemer being built on a mountaintop in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Manhattan Bridge in New York City, 1909.

Library of Congress

The London Tower Bridge without a middle in 1892.

Public Domain

The beginnings of the Hoover Dam.

Library of Congress

The U.S. Capitol Building in 1861.

Library Of Congress

The Eiffel Tower under a cool illusion.

The Crazy Horse Memorial, located in Black Hills.

Elaine G

The Atomium in Brussels, Belgium.

Mount Rushmore, missing some key players.

The Statue of Liberty reaching new heights in 1885.

Albert Fernique/New York Public Library

One World Trade Center in 2012.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Lincoln Memorial, pictured during construction, missing the head of Lincoln.

The U.S. National Archives

The early stages of the Washington Monument.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa, being completed in 2008.

Imre Solt

The Golden Gate Bridge in 1932.

Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District

New York City's Flatiron Building, pictured here in 1902.

Library Of Congress

The construction of the World Trade Center in 1970.

Ed Ford/AP

The Empire State Building in 1931.

Lewis Wickes Hine/New York Public Library

The layers of the Petronas Towers being built in Malaysia in 1995.

C.f. Tham/AP

The construction of the Space Needle in Seattle. This photo was taken in 1961.

Seattle Municipal Archives

The iconic Gateway Arch, looming large over St. Louis in 1965.


Next, here's cool photos of Christ the Redeemer statue being repaired.