Back to All News

When the 14,000-pound, 66-foot, replica Eiffel Tower presented by AES Indiana takes its place as the landmark for the U.S. Olympic Trials - Swimming presented by Lilly in downtown Indianapolis, it will be the result of a city-wide collaboration of civic leaders involving everything from project planning to installation.

The idea for the tower—to be installed at Georgia Street and Capitol Avenue the week of June 14—was inspired by the thought of delivering something magnificent and reflective of this historical moment, that embodies Indy’s reputation as a host city with a focus on teamwork and community. It symbolizes celebration, dedication, and diversity to life.

“I have enjoyed watching this team work together over the last month to create a replica landmark for the Trials,” said Pat Kenney, Vice President of F.A. Wilhelm Construction. “The team has worked collaboratively to bring Indiana Sports Corp’s vision to life. We are thrilled to participate with several local firms to create a space to support the spirit of the Olympic games. F.A. Wilhelm Construction prides itself on supporting and collaborating with the communities where we live and work to build what matters.”

The U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials will kick off with a free Starting Block Party presented by by F.A. Wilhelm Construction, from 5 PM to 9:30 PM June 14 on the west block of Georgia Street, where the replica Eiffel Tower presented by AES Indiana will be located. There will be performances from rapper and singer songwriter midwxst and DJ Space Bunz, both from Indianapolis, and The Main Squeeze, a funk band from Bloomington, is the event’s headliner.

After the kick-off event on June 14, the OneAmerica Financial Concert Series will present nine more nights of free concerts as part of USA Swimming LIVE presented by Purdue University, June 15-23, which will also include local food vendors, a “Swim Up Bar,” and original artwork commissioned by the Indy Arts Council and supported by CICF. The replica Eiffel Tower presented by AES Indiana will be lit at night with energy-efficient lighting solutions thanks to ERMCO and Dodd Technologies.

All of the activations are created as a celebration for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming presented by Lilly, which will take place June 15-23 at Lucas Oil Stadium. During the trials, nearly 1,000 of the country’s best swimmers will compete for 52 spots on the U.S. Olympic Team in the Paris Olympic Games. Tickets to the trials are available here.

The 2024 Olympic swimming trials in Indianapolis will be a historic moment—this year marks the 100-year anniversary since the 1924 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials were held in Broad Ripple Park in Indianapolis. And, in 1924 the Olympic Games were held in Paris, as they will be this year.

"We are proud to be the power behind the historic U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Indianapolis as the presenting sponsor of the Eiffel Tower on Georgia Street for this nine-day event," said Brandi Davis-Handy, president, AES Indiana. "This partnership reflects our deep commitment to powering events that bring our community together. We will also show our support through our iconic LED window light display on our headquarters in downtown Indianapolis."

The process of building a replica Eiffel Tower is no small feat.

The project management team composed of F.A. Wilhelm, the Latinas Welding Guild, and Indiana Sports Corp have worked collaboratively to align the team, timelines, and deliverables. The tower design, engineer, and material sourcing team consists of The Latinas Welding Guild, Poynter Sheet Metal, Maker Factory, R.A.D Fabrication, and JQOL Engineering.

“The Eiffel Tower is an engineering marvel for a reason,” says Brian Hull of RAD Fabrication and Maker Factory. “Scaling it down requires collaborative problem-solving and brainstorming on a large scale.” Hull along with Paul Miller and Owner of R.A.D Fabrication Robert Daly have been supporting the project through design collaboration and material sourcing and processing.

Fabrication of the Tower is being completed in partnership with the Latinas Welding Guild, F.A. Wilhelm Construction, and Poynter Sheet Metal. This week, 10 team members chosen by the Latinas Welding Guild participated in the replica Eiffel Tower presented by AES Indiana project and are working steadily on the tower, which is made of about 1600 parts equaling 14,000 pounds of Indiana steel.

The Latinas Welding Guild is thrilled to participate in the project because the replica Eiffel Tower presented by AES Indiana will be a source of pride in the Indianapolis community for years to come, said Consuelo Lockhart, Executive Director and Founder of Latinas Welding Guild. She also said she hopes other female and diverse welders who hear about the project are inspired by the Latinas Welding Guild’s example.

"We’re breaking down invisible barriers by being a part of the replica Eiffel Tower project. I’m sure there are a lot of other welders out there that will identify with us and, by being acknowledged through this big, impactful project, the pride we have in our skills and background and heritage becomes an example for others," Lockhart said. "When I was growing up, I never got to see a woman in leadership in welding. I was the only woman in my welding class. I also didn’t meet other Latinas in the industry, and I never saw other Latinos in leadership in the industry. But, through the spotlight we’re getting because of the replica Eiffel Tower project, all of us are becoming that representation that we never got to see for the next generation of diverse welders."

Once the fabrication process is complete, the components of the tower are being sent to Maxed Sandblasting & Coatings Specialists to be painted with Sherwin Williams product to prep it for it’s big debut and install. F.A.Wilhelm Construction is the lead for the install of the replica Eiffel Tower presented by AES Indiana, which will begin downtown early in the week of June 10.

The ribbon cutting ceremony and first official lighting of the Eiffel Tower replica will be held during The Starting Block Party presented by F.A. Wilhelm Construction from 5-9:30 p.m. June 14. 

Back to All News