Eiffel Tower

This week construction began on the Eiffel Tower, part of the central feature at this year's flower show. Here you see welder Richard Cousins working away at Scenery First, which has had a major role in building features and sets at the show for more than a decade. I visited co-owners Jack Doyle and Michael Barone this morning at their shop in Sharon Hill. They bid for the flower show job every August, and said this year, because of the economy, a lot of the competition fell away, which means better odds of getting the job and also ... a busier time all around for their ompany. Ninety percent of their business is building sets for revues and shows on cruise lines - yes, the cruise business is booming - but they also do work for the Wilma, Philadelphia Theater Co. and others. "This past fall was crazy," Jack says. Workers just started putting together the pre-fab pieces of the tower, which has to be finished a full week before the flower show opens. And, Jack says, the biggest challenge is getting the giant sections into the tractor trailer for transport to the Convention Center. Once assembled, the tower will be 33 feet tall and 75 wide, visible from anywhere on the show floor. It's the tallest structure ever for the show, which runs from March 6-13.