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Steel Shots: Sprucing Up the Arch
Posted by Alison Trost on August 20, 2010 at 8:21 AM.

Steel Shots: Sprucing up the Arch

While the Gateway Arch alongside the Mississippi River in St. Louis is truly visually inspiring, getting to and navigating the grounds are not. But a design competition now under way should provide a significant upgrade to the visitor experience in the next few years. Photo: David Preston/Gateway Arch Riverfront.


Did you know that the Gateway Arch was the winning entry in a 1947 design competition (although construction did not begin until 1963)? The tallest of the country’s national monuments (at 630 ft), the arch celebrates the beauty of structural steel, as well as the U.S. spirit of westward expansion from the mid-1800s. Completed in October 1965, the arch was built using 900 tons of stainless steel. If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s worth a visit to see it up close - even before the upgrades are made. Be sure to leave enough time to ride to the top. The view is terrific and the ride in the tram cars is quite an experience.


To read more about the current design competition in a recent Chicago Tribune post, click here.


More information about the five finalist’s proposals, which were made public on August 17, is available from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website ( in an overview article that includes links to galleries showing each of the proposals and a video of the competition manager discussing the various plans.


The competition has its own website where comments on the proposals are invited from now through August 23.


Follow these links for more information about the Gateway Arch and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.


To read about the steel fabrication on the National Park Service website, click here.

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