My family’s short, yet informational visit north on the Great River Road showed us a structure I hadn’t visited since I was nine years old. My anticipation in 1980 was as intense then as it was in August of 2017. My wife, and my son, never having visited the arch before, were in for a joyous surprise.
In researching information on the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis we learned that the monument doors were opened to the public on June 10, 1967, but designs began twenty years earlier in February of 1947. Construction began in February of 1963 and the labor of love was completed in October of 1965.
As part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the Arch served as a symbol of the westward expansion of the United States. This stainless steel structure, built in the form of a weighted inverted catenary arch (catenary is the word describing the curve of the arch), is the world’s tallest arch, and one of the tallest man-made structures in the Western Hemisphere. Measuring in at 630 feet in height (192 meters) it is the tallest building with access to the public.
As I wasn’t too sure about the facts in that last statement, I had to dig deeper. I didn’t have to look too far as t-shirts in the gift shop expressed this in many ways. However, I had to share with you a graphic organizer which expressed this statement. This graphic published on EnchantedLearning.com compares the Gateway Arch to a few structures’ respective heights.