The Gateway Arch has become the
definitive symbol of the city of St. Louis and is the tallest monument in
the National Park system. At 630 feet the Arch is 75 feet taller than the
Washington Monument and more than twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty.
The Arch is the centerpiece of the Gateway Arch National Park,
which also includes the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Old Courthouse.
In 1935 40 city
blocks of the St. Louis riverfront was selected as the site for construction
of a monument to commemorate the westward expansion of the United States in
the 19th century. In 1947 the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
Association held a nationwide competition to obtain an appropriate design
for the Memorial. The winner in the competition was architect Eero Saarinen
whose idea of a giant stainless steel arch in the shape of an inverted
catenary curve is a complex engineering feat. Construction on the Arch began
in 1963 and was completed in 1965.
interior of the Arch is hollow and contains a unique transport system
leading to an observation deck at the top. A unique tram system that
combines an elevator cable lift system with cars similar to Ferris wheel
gondolas had been installed. The cars hold 5 passengers and 8 cars are
linked to form a train with a capacity of 40 passengers. The trip to the top
of the Arch takes four minutes, and the trip back down takes three minutes.
The car doors have narrow glass panes, allowing passengers to see the
interior stairways and structure of the Arch during the trip. An observation
area on top of the arch has small windows that allow views across the
Mississippi River and southern Illinois with its prominent Mississippian
culture mounds to the east at Cahokia, and the City of Saint Louis and St.
Louis County to the west beyond the city. On a clear day, one can see up to
Gateway Arch is part of the Gateway Arch National Park, which also includes the Museum
of Westward Expansion, and the
Old Courthouse National Historic Site.
Visiting the Gateway
Memorial Day -
Labor Day: 8 am to 10 pm daily
Winter Hours: 9 am - 6 pm
There is no charge to visit to visit the
Gateway Arch. Tickets are required to ride the trams to the top. Visit gatewayarch.com
for ticket information.
Location: The Gateway Arch is
located along the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. The Gateway Arch is a short distance from the Laclede Landing MetroLink station.
Learn more about the
St. Louis area.
Gateway Arch National Park
- Use the official site of the Jefferson
National Expansion Memorial
for answers to all
the questions you may have.