St. Louis Arch

St. Louis, Missouri

Why is this topic important?

This topic is important because Civic leader Luther Ely Smith recognized the idea of building a memorial to help revive the story of the nation’s westward expansion. Through a nationwide design competition conducted 1947–1948, Euro Saarinen’s stainless steel Arch was chosen as the memorial that would celebrate the accomplishments of early pioneers. St. Louis celebrated with a groundbreaking on June 23, 1959.

Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

Who? Valued construction workers and other builders and people that helped develop the arch idea

What? A tall monument called the St. Louis Arch aka "Gateway Arch"

When? Construction began in February 1963 and was completed in October 1965.

Where? St. Louis, Missouri

Why? Monument was placed in that location because St. Louis played a key role in westward expansion

How? The primary construction materials used to build the Gateway Arch were steel and concrete. The outside skin consists of ¼-inch stainless steel. There is also an inner layer of 3/8-inch structural steel with a layer of concrete between the layers of steel. With foundations sunk 60 feet into the ground, its frame of stressed stainless steel is built to withstand both earthquakes and high winds. 630 feet tall x 630 feet wide


“Its real symbolism is not to the westward expansion of the nineteenth century, but to the power and dominance of the United States in the twentieth century.”
― Tracy Campbell, The Gateway Arch: A biography

(That quotation means the arch isn't just a symbol of western expansion it's a symbol of United States dominance)