The Auckland Sky Tower turns 15

The Auckland Sky Tower is one of the city’s most popular landmarks.

But that wasn’t always the case. When discussion first started in the 1990s about building a structure along the lines of Canada’s CN Tower, there was very little public support for it.

It didn’t matter that the final design embraced the concept of the village church spire and the minarets of Istanbul’s Hajia Sofia. The public, for the most part, just saw the tower as a ‘gigantic hypodermic syringe infecting the Auckland skyline.’

As the first stage of construction began, with the installation of a 150 meter concrete cylinder, the public likened the tower to a huge sewer pipe.

But despite public resistance, the tower continued to grow, eventually reaching a height of 328 meters and becoming New Zealand’s tallest man-made structure.

And fifteen years down the track, the tower is now not only very much a part of Auckland’s skyline but is also one of the first places Aucklanders send visitors to get a birds eye view of the city.

One floor down from the main observation floor, at 182 meters above the ground, is the Sky Lounge, possibly the only place in the world where you can sit and have a coffee while watching people fall out of the sky and hanging around outside the coffee shop window.

Of course, it’s a sight that would be quite off putting if you didn’t know that a few floors up was the staging post for the Sky Tower Bungee Jump.

(photo of Sky Tower by Linda W1 via flickr, photo of bungee jumper by Liz Lewis)

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