Archive for the ‘The West’ Category

The St Louis Gateway Arch

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch

This week we traveled into Missouri. The city of St Louis was one of our stops. One of the first things you see when you get close to the city is the Gateway Arch also known as the Gateway to the West.


The arch is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It was designed by architect Eero Saarinen and engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947. Construction began in 1963 and was finished in 1965. The monument was open to the public in July 1967.

The monument is the tallest structure in Missouri at 630 feet ( 192 m) tall. The arch is 54 feet ( 16 m) at the two bases and 17 feet ( 5.2 m ) at the top. Two carbon steel reinforced concrete walls are covered with a stainless steel skin. the center is hollow and contains a tramway to the observation deck in the middle. There are also two stairways of 1076 steps each.

The two legs were built simultaneously. When the time came to join the two legs, the sun heated south leg did not align with the north leg so the fire department hosed down the south leg to cool it until the two legs met in the middle.

The tramway designer was Richard Bowser. He combined an elevator cable lift system with a gimbaled  car system that is similiar to the way ferris wheel cars are attached to a ferris wheel. You can arrive at the central observation room from either side. The north side tells how the arch was made and the south side tells about the Mississippi riverfront of the mid 19th century.

Visitors enter the cars 5 people at a time. The tallest people sit in the middle because of the sloping ceiling of the cars. The cars have an egg shape. Eight cars form a train and there are 2 trains for a total capacity of 80 people. It takes 4 minutes to reach the top and 3 minutes to return.

The observation deck

When your train reaches the top, you exit and climb a slight incline. You are now in the observation room. 32 windows allow an East and West view of the city.

The arch like all public United States monuments has barriers to prevent terrorists from trying to knock it down with a vehicle and airport like security at the tramway access to the observation room.

The Product Gallery

I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s story. Before you go please be sure and check out our list of products on the right under our blogroll. Just click on any of the links that interest you and you will travel to that products website. Everyone have a safe and productive week and we will see you next week with a new adventure.