Art: Skyscraper at Amiens

The tallest skyscraper in France today is in the cathedral town of Amiens, a 25-story tower made of reinforced concrete, named for Architect Auguste Ferret. Far from pointing to the building with pride, the people of Amiens have scornfully dubbed it La Chandelle (The Candle). To the French government, which owns it, the Perret Tower has become a national scandal. Abuilding since 1949, it is still unfinished inside, already 30 months behind schedule and 132 million francs over its original 93-million-franc estimate. Last week the French government offered the tower to private investors. Price: one-fifth its cost to date. Takers: none.


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