Did this event actually take place? Well according to historians and archaeologists it did. For instance, Abydenus (a Greek historian of the mid-fourth century B.C.), as quoted by Eusebius, spoke of a great tower in Babylon which was destroyed. The record notes: “[U]ntil this time all men had used the same speech, but now there was sent upon them a confusion of many and diverse tongues” (quoted in Rawlinson 1873, 28). However, since he did not live at the time when the tower of Babel would have stood maybe he was wrong.
In his book, Chaldean Account of Genesis (1880), George Smith of the British Museum—the scholar who translated the Babylonian flood account—published a fragment which is certainly reminiscent of the Bibles record. The inscription tells of an ancient tower. “The building of this temple offended the gods. In a night they threw down what had been built. They scattered them abroad, and made strange their speech. The progress they impeded” (1880, 29).
From an archaeological standpoint the precise site of the ancient tower of Babel is a matter of uncertainty, for there are possibilities among the remnants of several ruins in the region. Many, following Jewish and Arab traditions, locate the tower ruins at Borsippa (the “Tongue Tower”), about eleven miles southwest of the northern portion of Babylon. Others identify the site with Etemen-an-ki (“the temple of the foundation of heaven and earth”), which is located in the southern sector of the city near the right bank of the Euphrates river.
It is my opinion that the Tower of babel did in fact exist. However, if one reads the text closely it was not only a tower that they were building, but an entire city. Babel is one of the most ancient of all cities and it stands to reason that, just like the ancient Egyptians had pyramids, that the babylonians built towers as well. In fact, most ancient civilizations built towers. The Egyptians built their pyramids, the Incas and the Aztecs built their pyramids and the Chinese and Hindus had their temples of worship on top of mountains. Therefore, I would say, whether you think they believed in G-D or not it seems logical that a tower was built.