People from all around this great country and the rest of the world will always know when they are within close proximity of the city of St. Louis, Missouri because of the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch.
In the early 1800’s, this city had become what was known as a gateway to the west for early American settlers. Many people traveling by wagon train would stop in St. Louis for supplies and rest. Others would arrive and love the city so much they would decide to settle their families here.
By the mid 1900’s, the people decided the city of St. Louis should have a great monument celebrating this expansion. A competition was held in 1947 challenging well known architects to design the plans. Eero Saarinen entered his designs for the Arch and won the competition beating out 171 other entries.
In 1963 construction for the massive 630 foot structure began and by 1965 the Gateway Arch was completed. It was built of stainless steel on the outside, carbon steel on the inside and concrete in the middle.
If you have never visited the Gateway Arch, it is a must see in the city of St. Louis. Approximately 1 million visitors a year browse the Arch museum located underneath the famous structure. If you’re really daring, you can buy a ticket and take a 4 minute tram ride all the way to the top of the Arch. Once at the observation deck, visitors can gaze out one of the 32 windows overlooking the Mississippi River on one side and the city of St. Louis on the other. There are 16 windows on each side.
In addition, visitors may want to view a documentary film showcasing an up-close look of the Arch being built in one of it’s two theaters. There are souvenir shops in the museum and you can also tour the historic Old Court House where the Dred Scott case began in 1846.
When the family gets hungry, just take a walk down the giant staircase to the Mississippi River bank and go for a little dinner cruise on one of the daily riverboats cruises.
If you’re ever in St. Louis near the 4th of July, the Arch grounds are always host to the famous Fair St. Louis. It’s not uncommon to see a million people there at one time with plenty of food, drink, air shows and star musical performances.
Being born and raised in St. Louis, I have certainly visited the Gateway Arch a number of times and I can truly say this is one attraction my family and I never get tired of.
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