The Gateway Arch is often referred to as “The Gateway to the West” because it reflects the role St. Louis played in the westward expansion of the United States in the 19th century.
History of the Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch stands an impressive 630 feet above the Mississippi River in St. Louis, making it the tallest national monument in America. Civil leader Luther Ely Smith initiated the revival of the waterfront, including this preeminent engineering structure designed by Finnish-born architect, Eero Saarinen.
Sadly, Eero Saarinen died in 1961 before the completion of the stainless steel arch. The Gateway Arch was completed in 1965, with the Visitor Center at its top being opened in 1967.
1. The Gateway Arch
You can have a great view of St. Louis and the area that lies beyond the Mississippi River at the Visitor Center located at the highest point of the Gateway Arch.
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2. The Museum of Westward Expansion
This museum is located directly below the Gateway Arch, and it exhibits highlight the challenges faced by Americans, including the Lewis and Clark Expedition during the overland westward immigration, which had a significant impact in shaping the West.
3. The Old Courthouse
This original Federal-style courthouse was completed in 1828. It hosted the first two trials of Dred Scott, who sued for his freedom as a slave in 1846. Today, this building hosts a museum and restored courtrooms.
Tours Available at the Gateway Arch
The tram ride tour begins with an interactive pre-boarding session with exhibits featuring 60s-era animation and trivia about the Gateway. Then, you will be transported up 63 stories to the top of the tallest monument ever built in America. Each tour takes about 45-60 minutes.
Restaurants in the Area
Some of the best restaurants where you can dine after a tour in the Gateway National Park include; Charlie Gitto’s Downtown, Carmine’s Steak House, and Ruth Chris Steak House.
The Gateway Arch National Park is the place to visit in the Midwest. You get to know more about your nation’s history, including the people who risked their lives to make America what it is today.