Thirty years ago, engineers in Paris discovered hairline fractures in the Eiffel Tower supports. To lighten the load, they removed the restaurant on the second platform. New Orleans auto dealer McDonald Stephens bought the restaurant, which was disassembled into 11,000 pieces for shipping. Ever the romantic, Stephens hired New Orleans architect Steven Bingler to build a "jewel box" out of the pieces for his four beloved daughters. Bingler's vision, assembled on St. Charles
Avenue in 1986, incorporated scattered pieces from the original restaurant into a contemporary outer structure meant to resemble the Eiffel Tower. The building went through many reincarnations, most unsuccessful. Today it is a lounge and events venue catering to a younger crowd.