American Landmarks Series: The St. Louis Gateway Arch


The Gateway Arch is the tallest monument in the United States and one of the most famous structures in the world. It was built to commemorate Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a westward expansion and Lewis and Clark’s expedition across America; it also commemorates St. Louis’ role as a major gateway to the West. The Arch is located on a site that has been home to other landmarks as well, including an early fur trading post, a military fort, and an amusement park.


The St. Louis Gateway Arch is located in St. Louis, Missouri, which is the largest city in the state and home to 1 million residents. It sits at the confluence of two rivers: The Mississippi River and Missouri River.

It was built as part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which commemorates Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase from France. The memorial also includes other attractions such as Old Courthouse Museum (which houses exhibits about early St. Louis), Museum of Westward Expansion (which focuses on westward expansion) and Union Station (a train station).

The arch itself stands 630 feet tall–or high enough so that it could fit inside one full loop around its interior walkway without touching either wall!

General History

The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot monument built in St. Louis, Missouri. It was designed by Eero Saarinen and completed in 1965. The arch commemorates the westward expansion of the United States and is located at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park on the western bank of the Mississippi River.

The design competition for this landmark began in 1947 with over 700 entries submitted from around the world before being narrowed down to five finalists who were asked to submit final designs for consideration by a jury consisting of historians, architects and engineers including Edward Durrell Stone (architect), Carl Milles (sculptor) and William Lescaze (architect). Among those chosen as finalists were famed Finnish architect Eero Saarinen whose entry ultimately won out over those submitted by his competitors due largely to its simplicity while also serving as both functional space while being aesthetically pleasing at once – traits which still resonate today when one visits this famous site!

Architectural Elements

The arch is a stainless steel monument, designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. Standing 630 feet tall and spanning 280 feet across at its base, it is the tallest manmade monument in the United States. The arch’s internal diameter measures 135 feet (41 meters), which makes it possible to walk through its legs when they are closed as well as see through them when they are open.

The stainless steel used to build this famous landmark was purchased from American Iron and Steel Institute member companies such as U.S Steel Corporation (USX).


The Gateway Arch is the tallest man-made monument in the western hemisphere. It was built to commemorate the westward expansion of the United States, and its design was inspired by a drawing by Jacques Grdeau.

The arch was designed by Eero Saarinen, who also designed the TWA terminal at JFK Airport and Dulles International Airport’s main terminal building (now known as Terminal A).

The St. Louis Gateway Arch is the city’s most famous landmark and a symbol of patriotism.

The St. Louis Gateway Arch is the city’s most famous landmark and a symbol of patriotism. It stands 630 feet tall, with an observation area at the top that offers visitors breathtaking views of St. Louis and its surrounding areas. The arch was designed by Swiss-born architect Eero Saarinen in 1947, who won an international competition to design what would become one of America’s most recognizable structures.

The structure is meant to represent both American unity and exploration–a theme that resonates throughout St. Louis’ history as well as Missouri’s role in Lewis & Clark’s expedition along the Missouri River (which flows through downtown).


The St. Louis Gateway Arch is the city’s most famous landmark and a symbol of patriotism. The arch was built to commemorate the westward expansion of the United States, but it has also become an important symbol for many other reasons.

Sammy Conteh

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