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The Gateway Arch :: St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arch, a monument that is visited by approximately a million tourists every year, is an architectural endeavor that is the tallest national monument in the United States.  The Arch represents the gateway to the historical American West and it stands 630 feet high on the bank of the Mississippi River.

In 1947, Eero Saarinen won the nationwide contest to design a monument to honor western pioneers.  Construction on the arch began February 12, 1963, and ended on October 28, 1965.  His design references the past, yet has a contemporary appeal for future generations to appreciate.  It weighs 17,246 tons, and utilizes 900 tons of stainless steel, which is more than any other project in history.

The structure is incredibly stable (the catenary curve is considered one of the most structurally-sound arch shapes), but you will be surprised to feel it’s slight sway to the wind while up in the top.  An internal tram takes visitors to the top of the Arch every 4-5 minutes, and view at the top gives you a bird’s eye view of downtown St. Louis.

If you want to ramble around the Arch area, I suggest you bring a coat.  I spent most of my early childhood living in St. Louis, and the Arch was just like I remembered it – windy!  And if you are looking for free wi-fi, stop by the Hooters a couple blocks in town.  We stopped by because Nick claimed they have great wings – I wasn’t very impressed.  I wonder why he thinks the wings are so good??!!  Hmmm.  I also tried fried pickles for the first time, which I enjoyed.

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