20+ Of The World’s Most Iconic Landmarks Before They Were Finished

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?

The world’s most iconic landmarks are a big draw for tourists from around the world. But these historical landmarks are not just tourist attractions, they often serve as a milestone in history or a remarkable event in time. Photographers love landmarks, especially the challenge to capture it differently from all the average angles and classic shots. Even when these iconic landmarks were build, photographers couldn’t resist to capture it forever. We are glad that they did, because it gives us awesome insights..

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!

01. The Sydney Opera House under construction in the 1960’s.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-01Image credits: Cultural Collections

Sydney Opera House – 1966

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-01-1Image credits: Flickr: oakleystudios

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


Christ The Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 1931

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-02-1Image credits: Creative Commons

03. Manhattan Bridge in New York City, 1909.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-03Image credits: Library of Congress

The Golden Gate Bridge – 1936

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-03-1Image credits: Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District

04. The London Tower Bridge without a middle in 1892.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-04Image credits: Public Domain

05. The beginnings of the Hoover Dam – 1932.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-05Image credits: Library of Congress

06. The U.S. Capitol Building in 1861.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-06Image credits: Library Of Congress

07. The Eiffel Tower under a cool illusion.


The Eiffel Tower – 1888

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-07-1Image credits: Public Domain

08. The Atomium in Brussels, Belgium – 1958.


09. Chrysler Building – 1930

The sharp, glistening spire of the Chrysler Building stands revealed as the world’s tallest building sheds its scaffolding, May 26, 1930. (AP Photo)

Image credits: AP 

10. Mount Rushmore, missing some key players.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-10Image credits: National Geographic

Mount Rushmore – 1933

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-10-1Image credits: U.S. National Park Service

11. The Statue of Liberty reaching new heights in 1885.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-11Image credits: Albert Fernique/New York Public Library

The Statue of Liberty – 1885

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-11-1Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

12. One World Trade Center in 2012.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-12-1Image credits: Mario Tama/Getty Images

World Trade Center – 1970

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-12Image credits: Ed Ford / AP

13. The Lincoln Memorial, pictured during construction, missing the head of Lincoln – 1920.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-13Image credits: The U.S. National Archives

14. The early stages of the Washington Monument.


15. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, being completed in 2008.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-15Image credits: Imre Solt

16. Luxor, Las Vegas – 1993

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-16Image credits: wikimedia commons

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

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-17Image credits: Library Of Congress

18. The Empire State Building in 1931.

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-18Image credits: Lewis Wickes Hine/New York Public Library

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

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-19Image credits: C.f. Tham/AP

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

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-20Image credits: Seattle Municipal Archives

Space Needle, Seattle – 1961

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-20-1Image credits: Flickr: seattlemunicipalarchives

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

AD-Worlds-Most-Iconic-Landmarks-Before-They-Were-Finished-21Image credits: AP

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Architecture & Design was started by an Afghan - Canadian entrepreneur, he believes that wellbeing is affected by the spaces we spend our time in and that their design is an important notion to consider with regards to our personal comfort and happiness – whether we are at home, at work or at play.

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