|Gateway Arch (1965-68, Eero Saarinen), St. Louis, Missouri, as seen from Mississippi River. Photo by Buphoff (CC BY-SA 3.0).|
Streamlined in a space-age sheen of stainless steel, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis springs 630 feet high and wide across the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park in a seamlessly soaring hyperbolic arc, calling to mind the path of Superman leaping tall buildings in a single bound or a model rocket launching, leaping and landing in one fell swoop.
And you'll be going on your own space odyssey as you take a ride in a spaceship-like tram car, comfortably equipped with buttock-contoured bucket seats, upward through the innards of the concrete-reinforced steel arch...
|Tram car photo (left): Robert Lawton (CC BY-SA 2.5). Deck photo: Daniel Schwen (CC BY-SA 4.0).|
|Photo by Kelly Martin (CC BY-SA 3.0).|
|Photo courtesy of STL Family Attractions Card.|
|Photo by Paul McDonald (CC BY-SA 4.0).|
Situated in a 91-acre park on the city's original riverfront settlement site on a central axis with the domed Old Courthouse—where Missouri slave Dred Scott's case to live as a free man in free states across the river was rejected in 1857—the arch is a direct "Gateway to the West," symbolizing our great leaps forward in national growth, social progress, technological development, and architectural evolution, classical to modern.
Photo by Becherka, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The Gateway Arch is Missouri's tallest publicly accessible structure and the nation's tallest commemorative monument, surpassing Texas' 570-foot San Jacinto Monument by 60 feet and Washington D.C.'s 555-foot Washington Monument by 75 feet.