The Gateway Arch, also known as the Gateway to the West, is a 630-foot stainless steel monument located in St. Louis, Missouri. Designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947, the arch was built to commemorate the westward expansion of the United States and the role that St. Louis played in that expansion.
Construction of the arch began in 1963 and was completed in 1965, at a cost of $13 million. The arch is built on the banks of the Mississippi River and is a symbol of the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri.
The arch is made of stainless steel, which was chosen for its durability and resistance to weathering. The steel was also chosen because it would not corrode over time and would maintain its shiny appearance. The arch is divided into two legs, each with a triangular cross-section. The legs are connected by a curved arch at the top, which forms a catenary shape. This shape is the most stable and efficient form for an arch, and it allows the Gateway Arch to withstand strong winds and earthquakes.
The Gateway Arch has a tram system that takes visitors to the top of the arch, where they can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of St. Louis. Visitors can take a tram ride to the top of the arch, which takes about four minutes. The tram ride is a unique experience, as the cars rotate as they ascend, giving visitors a 360-degree view of the city. At the top, visitors can see up to 30 miles in all directions on a clear day.
The Gateway Arch is also part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which includes the Old Courthouse and the Museum of Westward Expansion. The Old Courthouse was the site of the Dred Scott case, in which a slave named Dred Scott sued for his freedom and lost, setting the stage for the Civil War. The Museum of Westward Expansion tells the story of the westward expansion of the United States and the role that St. Louis played in that expansion.
The Gateway Arch is a popular tourist destination and attracts millions of visitors each year. It is also a popular spot for photographers, as the arch provides a unique and striking backdrop for photos. The arch is also a popular spot for those tlooking to take a walk or bike ride along the riverfront.
In recent years, the Gateway Arch has undergone renovation to improve the visitor experience. In 2018, the Gateway Arch National Park was expanded to include more parkland and new features, such as a new visitor center and an expanded museum. The park also includes a new amphitheater, a playground, and a bike-sharing program.
The Gateway Arch is a symbol of the westward expansion of the United States and the role that St. Louis played in that expansion. It is an architectural masterpiece and a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. The Gateway Arch is also part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which includes the Old Courthouse and the Museum of Westward Expansion. The Gateway Arch is a must-see attraction when visiting St. Louis and it offers a unique and unforgettable experience.