These days, it seems like everything is churned out and forgotten in a matter of days! Products, trends, news. This can leave the impression that we all have to produce at a frenzied pace. But not everything can, or should, be rushed. Some of the greatest pieces of art and culture took time, patience, and dedication. Read on to learn how persistence, a slow and steady process, or even a brief pause, can make the final results truly worth waiting for.  

The Twin Towers High Wire Walk- 6 Years

Philippe Petit was just a budding tightrope artist in 1968 when he saw an illustration of the Twin Towers in a French newspaper. It would take another six years for him to pull it off, causing folks on the sidewalk to stop in their tracks as he tiptoed 110 stories above ground. Petit’s feat took immense planning and preparation, which included figuring out how he could rig a 200ft steel cable between the buildings. Petit also needed lots of practice, and he performed a number of walks before the towers (including one at Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral). 

Mount Rushmore- 14 Years

Those prestigious faces that look out from the cliffs of Black Hills, South Dakota were 14 years in the making. Construction began in 1927 and required a few hundred miners, sculptors and rock climbers. A number of revisions were made to the original vision. Fast forward to 1941, when the team was working on the final piece of the project, a room known as the Hall of Records. It was around this time that the lead sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, suddenly died. As a result, the project was declared complete.

Avatar-15 Years

James Cameron’s record breaking film was not a quick or easy task, spanning up to 15 years. Cameron initially wrote the story in 1994 and planned to start filming in 1997, but he decided that technology would need to catch up with his vision and so he put the project on hold. He picked it up again in 2005. In addition to the wait, Cameron had to research, develop the script, design the world and language of the Na’vi, and of course, film and edit. The movie was released in 2009.  

Lord of the Rings- 12 Years

One of the greatest fantasy epics of all time took 12 years to create. Tolkien began writing the story in at the age of 45 in 1937 and didn’t complete it until 1949. Tolkien had been requested by publishers to write the story after his success with The Hobbit. Tolkien warned them he was a slow writer, but they insist he pursue the project anyway. Even after Tolkien had completed Lord of Rings, the series wouldn’t be published until 1955.

Gates of Hell-37 Years

Rodin’s elaborate sculpture, Gates of Hell, truly takes the cake in regards to time. Looking at its intricate details, it’s no wonder! He was commissioned in 1880 to create a set of doors for a new museum in Paris. The museum was never built, but Rodin worked on the doors for over 37 years, during which he would add, take away, or revise certain elements. Rodin would pass away in 1917 before the doors were officially completed: they remained as a plaster mold in his studio. However bronze replicas have since been created and you can now see the gates in a handful of museums.