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Gateway Arch

National Park

About the Park

Gateway Arch National Park is the site of the 630 foot Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Designed by Eero Saarinen, it remains the tallest man-made arch in the world. Construction was completed in 1965 and was originally designation Jefferson Expansion National Memorial in commemoration of the Louisiana Purchase and American migration westward. After renovation of the grounds in 2018, it was re-designated as Gateway Arch National Park.

Key activities:

  • The Arch. Time tickets available throughout the day every day. Trams bring you to the top of the arch for about 10 minutes. 

  • Museum. The Museum under the arch explores the history of St. Louis and the arch.

  • Film. 35 minute film about the construction of the arch. Has a separate fee.

  • Old Courthouse. Also a part of Gateway Arch NP, but currently under renovation. Site of the Dred Scott case trials. Available for tours when open.

  • Steamboat. Privately run but associated with the park, the steamboats offer cruises of one to two hours up and down the river. 


Gateway Arch National Park NPS Site

Discussion Topics

  • Lewis and Clark began their exploration of the American west from the St. Louis area. They had little idea what they would see and encounter on their journey. Have you explored a place that you weren't familiar with before? What is that experience like? How do you imagine it felt for Lewis and Clark.

  • The case of Dred Scott, which was tried at the Old Courthouse by the Arch, is famous for being the worst Supreme Court case decision in American history. In 1957, the court decided that even free people of African descent did not have rights under the constitution. Why is it important that all people have the same rights?

  • The design for the Gateway Arch arose out of a competition to build a memorial to America's westward expansion. There were hundreds of proposals for different types and styles of memorials. If you were submitting an idea, what kind of memorial would you design?


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