When people think of Saint Louis they usually picture the iconic Gateway Arch. The first and last time I saw the arch was during my time in the US as a kid during the late 1980s, and so I was eager to have another chance to visit. The arch was far more spectacular than I remembered, and I was now able to fully appreciate its grandeur, the architectural complexity and the esthetics. In a rather unassuming somewhat ordinary large American city, this arch stands out as something very unique. Aside from the architecture, the arch also has a very narrow observation deck, and you can make you way up inside the arch in a very claustrophobic elevator to see Saint Louis from above. With a few attractions including a museum at the bottom and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park, this is probably the top tourist attraction in the area.

 

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

 

Wikipedia has some of the background:

The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot-tall (192 m) monument in St. Louis, in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is also 630 feet wide. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a flattened catenary arch, it is the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, Missouri’s tallest accessible building, and the world’s tallest arch. Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, it is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and has become an internationally famous symbol of St. Louis.

The arch sits at the site of St. Louis’ founding on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

The Gateway Arch was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and German-American structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947. Construction began on February 12, 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965, at a total cost of $13 million ($175 million in 2012 dollars). The monument opened to the public on June 10, 1967.

 

With cloudy skies on freezing day and the occasional sunshine, I could not have wished for a more photo friendly background…

 

 

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

 

To enter the arch, you’ll have to go under it and purchase tickets. There’s a 30-minutes movie from the 1980s, that’s also available on Youtube (below):

 

After that you’ll make your way to the elevators. If you get nervous in small spaces, this might not be the ride for you…

 

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

 

On the top, there isn’t a lot of space either…

 

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

 

But, you’ll get to see some scenic panoramic views of the city…

 

The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

 The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

 

In the nearby downtown area you’ll also find …

 

 The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

 The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

 The Gateway Arch : Saint Louis Missouri

 

Location:

 

If you’re in Saint Louis, this is the one thing that’s not to be missed.



Tags: arch; architecture; downtown; Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park; Missouri; Saint Louis; The Gateway Arch;


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