National Historic Landmark and Cultural Icon in Downtown St. Louis
The Arch is the tallest monument in the U.S. at 630 feet in height. Its complex and subtle design based on a weighted catenary is unique in architecture and its structural system had never been attempted on such a large scale.
Although designed in 1947 and not built until between 1963 and 1968, its symbolic architectural expression is of such simplicity that it remains modern.
The Park Grounds that surround the Arch plays host to the annual Fair Saint Louis 4th of July Event and is covered by walkways and paths. The banks of the Mississippi run along the eastern edge of the park and gives visitors a great view of Downtown St. Louis.
2018 Arch Grounds & National Expansion Museum Upgrades
The expanded visitor's center and museum, which opens to the public on Tuesday, marks the last major piece of the $380 million renovation of the Arch grounds. Only work on the Old Courthouse remains.
This square west of the Arch now connects to the park grounds, thanks to the walled and noise-protected park over the highway — a lid over the depressed lanes of Interstate 44. It serves as a drop-off point for buses, offers shaded rest for visitors and a gathering place for the city.
The museum opening is one keystone in the latest $380 million evolution of the Arch grounds, which were cleared starting in 1939 to make way for a memorial to western expansion. Next on the list: gallery and accessibility improvements to the Old Courthouse, with a completion target of 2020.
This latest improvements are meant to improve access and to revamp the underground museum, where not much had changed since it opened in 1976.
The newly added 46,000 square feet to the old park, is now slightly over 103,000 square feet. The Museum now hosts a more inviting curved, glass entrance which draws visitors in and then beneath the Arch grounds.
Workers started digging at it after the first ceremonial groundbreaking in April 2015 and plan to the opening for July 3rd 2018.