One of the most iconic landmarks in the United States, the Gateway Arch is a 1,200-foot-tall monument to St. Louis.
The stainless steel structure was built to commemorate the Louisiana Purchase, a transaction that doubled U.S. territory without firing a single shot or causing any bloodshed whatsoever.
It was designed by famed architect Eero Saarinen as an open invitation for all Americans to come to explore their natural frontier.
Gateway Arch facts for kids
- The Arch, located in the city of St. Louis, Missouri
- At 630 feet tall, the Arch is the equivalent of 63 stories.
- It was designed by Eero Saarinen
- Construction started on February 12, 1963, and finished on October 28, 1965.
- It has 33 steel trusses which hold up the 263-feet length of the Arch.
- Over 80,000 tons of steel were used in construction.
Who was Eero Saarinen
Eero Saarinen was born on October 20, 1910, in Helsinki, Finland. He died July 1, 1961, at the age of 50. Today Saarinen is regarded as a master of American architecture.
It was the centerpiece of an urban renewal plan to transform a decaying waterfront into a tourist destination and recreational area.
What are some fun facts about the Gateway Arch
It is the tallest man-made monument arch in the Western Hemisphere
It’s 630 feet tall
It took 178 days to construct
There are 11,000,000 rivets in the entire structure
There are 160 steps to reach.
It has a total of 227 tons of steel.
Why was the gateway arch built
Since the Civil War, St. Louis has been a city of architecture, focusing primarily on tall buildings and parks. A large monument to the City of St. Louis was needed to define the place of St. Louis in the country.
It was initially planned to be of similar size to the Great Pyramid in Giza, a pyramid that is 440 feet tall and weighs 6 million tons.
It was designed to be the tallest man-made monument in the world, higher than any other obelisk or pyramid ever built.
How high is the Gateway Arch
It is 630 feet tall (192 m) from the ground to the top of the highest pinnacle.
Does the Gateway Arch sway
It is a tiny bit off-center, but you can feel it when you are standing next to it, especially if it is windy. The shape of the Arch is a wedge with two sharp corners pointing to the sky.
How much does it cost to visit the Gateway Arch
It will cost $3 per person to enter the grounds. You might be required to reserve a spot to enter the viewing area of the arch itself. The best thing to do is check out the website for any updates and access the online booking for visiting.
Interesting Facts about the Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch National Park is a memorial park in the heart of St. Louis, Missouri, named for a stainless steel monument that stands 630 feet (192 meters). It features sculptures and a visitor center with information on St. Louis’s history and architecture.
Even though the visitor center was started at the same time as the Arch, its construction did not finish until 1976 due to inadequate funds. However, the center was opened on June 10, 1967, with exhibits.
At the time of its installation, the cost of the monument was estimated to be around $13 million, which is equivalent to approximately $120 million in current money.
The observation deck at the top of the Arch deceptively appears to be tiny, yet it holds up to 160 people. The deck measures 7 feet 2 inches by 6 feet 9 inches.
It is the tallest Arch in the world and a monument to westward expansion.
Dick Bowser developed a tram system to carry visitors to the top of the Arc de Triomphe in just two weeks. It was modeled on the triumphal arch design.
The museum at the base of the Arch gives visitors a glimpse of what everyday life was like in the early 1800s. And an overview of Louis history and the westward expansion.