GATEWAY TO THE WEST
Saint Louis Travel Blog› entry 10 of 12 › view all entries
October 18th, 2008 – by: mellemel8
CUPCAKES, ARCH, AND GOOSE OH MY!!!!!
After we left Jillyâ€™s cupcake bar, we drove straight to the ARCH. We planned to eat our cupcakes after our tour inside the THE ARCH. James wanted to take me to the top of the ARCH. They was already a big gathering at the park. Then we later discovered that Obama was here speaking to 100,000 people. Missouri is also a â€śswingâ€ť state. I am glad we did not come early or we would have battles a hell of a traffic.
WOW the tram was very small only 5 adults can fit. You feel like you are in a sardine can. people who are claustrophobic canâ€™t ride this. It was about a 10min ride up the top. There was a window to see all the mechanics inside and also not to feel boxed in.
As we reached the top, you can feel it swaying if you just stand still. It felt very stuffy. I saw the view of downtown Saint Louis. I could Bush stadium, Edwards Jones dome, and the Scottrade center. I took photos on my celly to send it to everybody who can appreciate it.
James and I took plenty of photos as soon as we got to the bottom. We both started to inhale our cupcakes near the ARCH. I took cool angles with the ARCH. The park was expanding, there will be more points of interests, museum and educational programs.
Afterwards, we went to our hotel to check in. we check in to the hyatt union station. There was a mall and restaurants attached to the hotel.
After checking in, we had a snack at the Landry seafood. We had our first drink there. I only had one GOOSE. Then we planned to bring GOOSE at the game. I wanted to disguise it with a water bottle. I just wanted the medium size bottle. All that walking and hunting for the little store selling made me lose my buzz. We walked to Maggie Oâ€™Brienâ€™s to watch the last few min. of the Missouri vs. Texas game. Many blues fans were coming as well. The scottstrade center was nearby. I had my last GOOSE there.
I passed out like a baby. I canâ€™t believe James ate that HUGE caramel apple before bed. The same caramel apple he bought at Russell Stover outlet store.
WHOO HOO I AM SO EXCITED TO GO TO THE GAME AND HERE ARE MORE PHOTOS OF THIS DAY ON JAMESâ€™ BLOG
The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is located in St.
The park was established to commemorate several historical events:
* the Louisiana Purchase, and the subsequent westward movement of American explorers and pioneers;
* the first civil government west of the Mississippi River;
* the debate over slavery raised by the Dred Scott case.
The memorial site consists of a 91 acres (37 ha) park along the Mississippi River on the site of the original city of St. Louis; the Old Courthouse, a former state and federal courthouse which saw the origins of the Dred Scott case; the 4,200 m2 (45,000 sq ft) Museum of Westward Expansion; and most notably, the Gateway Arch, an inverted steel catenary arch that has become the definitive icon of the city.
Today, the park is host to four million visitors each year, three quarters of whom enter the Arch or the Old Courthouse.
The Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch is known as the "Gateway to the West". It was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947 and built between 1963 and 1968. It is the only building in the world based on the catenary arch, making it the iconic image of the city. It stands 192.024 meters (630 ft) tall and 192.024 meters (630 ft) wide at its base. The legs are 16.46 meters (54 ft) wide at the base, narrowing to 5.18 meters (17 ft) at the arch. There is a unique tram system to carry passengers to the observation room at the top of the arch.
The cross-sections of its legs are equilateral triangles, narrowing from 54 feet (16.
The base of each leg at ground level had an engineering tolerance of one sixty-fourth of an inch or the two legs would not meet at the top.
During construction, both legs were built up simultaneously. When the time came to connect both legs together at the apex, thermal expansion of the sunward facing south leg prevented it from aligning precisely with the north leg.
It is the tallest habitable structure in St. Louis (taller than One Metropolitan Square, the tallest building), and the second tallest in Missouri (behind One Kansas City Place in Kansas City)).
Eero Saarinen died from a brain tumor four years before the Arch was completed; prior to his death he had decided to incorporate a power lift system to obviate the need to climb the 1000-plus stairs. But the shape of the arch would have made a standard elevator impossible. After approaching several elevator companies who failed to come up with a viable method, Saarinen hired parking-lot elevator designer Richard Bowser to do the job.
The tram is operated by the quasi-governmental Bi-State Development Agency under an agreement with the NPS.
From the visitor center one may move to either base (one on the north end and the other on the south end) of the Arch and enter the tramway much as one would enter an ordinary elevator, through narrow double doors. The north queue area includes displays which interpret the design and construction of the Gateway Arch; the south queue area includes displays about the St. Louis riverfront during the mid-19th century.
Passing through the doors, passengers in groups of five enter an egg-shaped compartment containing five seats and a flat floor.
Near the top of the arch, the rider exits the compartment and climbs a slight grade to enter the arched observation area. Small windows, almost invisible from the ground, allow views across the Mississippi River and southern Illinois with its prominent Mississippian culture mounds to the east at Cahokia Mounds, and the City of Saint Louis and St. Louis County to the west beyond the city. On a clear day, one can see up to thirty miles (48 km).
Eleven light aircraft have been successfully piloted beneath the arch, the first on 22 June 1966, when the arch had been completed for less than a year.
In 1980 Kenneth Swyers tried to parachute onto the span of the Gateway Arch, planning to jump back off to land on the ground below.
In 1984, David Adcock of Houston, Texas, began to scale the arch by means of suction cups on his hands and feet, but he was talked out of continuing after having climbed only 20 feet (6.1 m). The next day he successfully scaled the nearby 21-story Equitable Building in downtown St. Louis.
It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
On 14 September 1992 it was rumored that John C. Vincent of New Orleans successfully scaled the outside of the Arch with suction cups during the night, and performed a BASE jump from the top with a parachute at 7 a.m. No evidence surfaced to support his claim, and it was speculated by Rangers at the Arch that Vincent was lowered from a helicopter onto the top of the Arch, from which he parachuted.
On July 21, 2007, several hundred people were trapped in the trams or at the top of the Arch after an electrical problem occurred with the tram system. All were returned to the ground either by being taken down stairs to a service elevator, or by waiting for power to be restored. A second electrical problem caused one tram to be taken out of service the following day.
The Old Courthouse is built on land originally deeded by St. Louis founder Auguste Chouteau. It marks the location over which the arch reaches. Its dome was built during the American Civil War and is similar to the dome on the United States Capitol which was also built during the Civil War. It was the site of the local trials in the Dred Scott case.
The courthouse is the only portion of the memorial west of I-70. To the west of the Courthouse is a Greenway between Market and Chestnut Streets which is only interrupted by the Civil Courts Building which features a pyramid model of the Mausoleum of Maussollos (which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) on its roof. When Civil Courts building was built in the 1920s the Chouteau family sued to regain the property belonging the Old Courthouse because it had been deeded in perpetuity to be a courthouse.
Land for the courthouse was donated in 1816 by Judge John Baptiste Charles Lucas and St. Louis founder RenĂ© Auguste Chouteau Lucas and Chouteau required the land be "used forever as the site on which the courthouse of the County of St.
It was designed by the firm of Lavielle and Morton, which also designed the early buildings at Jefferson Barracks as well as the Old Cathedral. The firm is reported to the first architect firm west of the Mississippi River above New Orleans. Joseph Laveille as street commissioner in 1823-26 was the one who devised the city's street name grid with ordinal numbers for north south streets and arboral names for the east-west streets.
Missouri became a state in 1821 and the St. Louis population tripled in 10 years.
In 1839 ground was broken on a courthouse designed by Henry Singleton with four wings including an east wing that comprised the original courthouse and a three-story cupola dome at the center.
In 1851 Robert S. Mitchell began a redesign in which the original courthouse portion on the east wing was torn down and replaced by a new east wing.
From 1855 to 1858 the west wing was remodeled with the Dred Scott hearings taking place in the west wing before the remodeling.
In 1861 William Rumbold replaced a cupola with an Italian Renaissance cast iron Dome modeled on St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The United States Capitol dome which was built at the same time during the American Civil War is also modeled on the basilica. The St. Louis dome was completed in 1864.
Rumbold in 1869 was to design the Missouri State Hospital (also called the St. Louis County Insane Asylum or City Sanitarium) which also features a dome and its location at 5400 Arsenal is the highest point in St.
Rumbold's dome in the courthouse is wrought and cast iron with a copper exterior. Four lunettes in the dome having paintings by Carl Wimar depicting four events in St. Louis history. Ettore Miragoli painted over them in 1880 but they were restored in 1888.
Louis Brandeis was admitted to the bar in the building in 1878.
The courthouse building was the tallest building in Missouri and St. Louis until 1896 when Union Station (St. Louis) was built.
The courthouse was abandoned in 1930 when the Civil Courts Building was built. Descendents of Chouteau and Lucas sued to regain ownership. In 1935 St. Louis voted a bond issue to raze nearly 40 blocks around the courthouse in the center of St. Louis for the new Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
The roof was replaced in 1941 and rehabilitated again in 1955 and 1985.
The courthouse remained the largest structure in the monument until the Gateway Arch was built in 1965.
Museum of Westward Expansion
Underneath the Arch is a visitor center, entered from a descending outdoor ramp starting at either base. Within the center is the Museum of Westward Expansion, exhibits on the history of the St. Louis riverfront, and tram loading and unloading areas. Tucker Theater, finished in 1968 and renovated 30 years later, has about 285 seats and shows a documentary (Monument to the Dream) on the Arch's construction.
The memorial was developed largely through the efforts of St. Louis civic booster Luther Ely Smith who first pitched the idea in 1933, was the long-term chairman of the committee that selected the area and persuaded Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 to make it a national park after St. Louis passed a bond issue to begin building it, and who partially financed the 1947 architectural contest that selected the Arch.
In the early 1930s the United States began looking for a suitable memorial for Thomas Jefferson (the Washington Monument and the newly built Lincoln Memorial were the only large Presidential memorials at the time).
Shortly after Thanksgiving in 1933 Smith who had been on the commission to build the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Indiana, was returning via train when he noticed the poor condition or the original platted location of St. Louis along the Mississippi. He thought that the memorial to Jefferson should be on the actual location that was symbolic of one of Jefferson's greatest triumphs -- the Louisiana Purchase.
The originally platted area of St. Louis included:
* Site of the Spanish capital of Louisiana (New Spain) (basically the entire Louisiana Purchase area north of Louisiana from the city's founding in 1764 until it was turned .
* Site of the Battle of Saint Louis, the only battle west of the Mississippi River in the American Revolutionary War
* Site of the Three Flags Day ceremony in 1804 in which Spain turned over Louisiana to France for less than 24 hour before it was turned over to the United States clearing the way for Lewis and Clark to legally begin their exploration (which Spain had specifically prohibited)
* Site of the first capital of Upper Louisiana for the United States
Almost all of the historic buildings associated with this period had been replaced by newer buildings. His idea was to raze all of the buildings in the original St. Louis platted area and replace it with a park with "a central feature, a shaft, a building, an arch, or something which would symbolize American culture and civilization.
Smith pitched the idea to Bernard Dickmann who quickly assembled a meeting of St. Louis civic leaders on December 15, 1933 at the Jefferson Hotel and they endorsed the plan and Smith became chairman of what would become the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association (a position he would hold until 1949 with a one-year exception).
The Commission then defined the area, got cost estimates of $30 million to buy the land, clear the buildings and erect a park and monument. With promises from the federal government (via the United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission) to join if the City of St. Louis could raise money.
The area to be included in the park was the Eads Bridge/Washington Avenue on the north and Poplar Street on the south, the Mississippi River on the east Third Street (now I-70) on the west plus the Old Courthouse just west of Third Street (the Courthouse was actually added in 1940).
The only building in this area not included was the Old Cathedral, which is on the site of St. Louis first church and was opposite the home of St. Louis founder Auguste Chouteau. The founders of the city were buried in its graveyard (but were moved in 1849 to Bellefontaine Cemetery during a cholera outbreak).
Taking away 40 blocks in the center of St. Louis was bitterly fought by some sources -- particularly the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
On September 10, 1935, the voters of St. Louis approved a $7.5 million bond issue to buy the property.
The buildings were bought for $7 million by the federal government via Eminent domain and was subject to considerable litigation but were ultimately bought at 131.99 percent of assessed valuation.
Roosevelt inspected the memorial area on October 14, 1936 during the dedication of the St. Louis Soldiers Memorial . Included in the party was then Senator Harry S. Truman.
The land was to be cleared by 1942. Among the buildings razed was the "Old Rock House" 1818 home of fur trader Manuel Lisa (now occupied by the stairs on the north side of the Arch) and the 1819 home of original St. Louis pioneer Jean Pierre Chouteau at First and Washington.
The architectural competition for a monument was delayed by World War II. Interest in the monument was fed after the war as it was to be the first big monument in the post-World War II era.
The estimated cost of the competition was $225,000 and Smith personally donated $40,000.
Architect Eero Saarinen won this competition with plans for a 590-foot (180-metre) catenary arch to be placed on the banks of the Mississippi River. However, these plans were modified over the next 15 years, placing the arch on higher ground and adding 40 feet (12 m) in height and width.
The central architectural feature at the base of the arch is the Old Courthouse, which was once the tallest building in Missouri and has a dome similar to the United States Capitol and was placed on the building during the American Civil War at the same time as that on the U.S. Capitol.
Saarinen developed the shape with the help of architectural engineer Hannskarl Bandel.
When Saarinen won the competition, the official notification was sent to "E. Saarinen", thinking it to be the architect's father Eliel Saarinen, who had also submitted an entry. The family celebrated with a bottle of champagne, and two hours later an embarrassed official called to say the winner was, in fact, the younger Saarinen. The elder Saarinen then broke out a second bottle of champagne to celebrate his son's success.
Among the five finalists was local St. Louis architect Harris Armstrong.
Land for the memorial was formally dedicated on June 10, 1950 by Harry S.
On June 23, 1959, work begins on covering railroad tracks that cut across the memorial grounds.
On February 11, 1961 excavation began.
On September 1, 1961 Saarinen died.
On February 12, 1963 the first stainless steel triangle that forms the first section of the arch was set in place on the south leg.
On October 28, 1965 it was completed, costing approximately US$15 million to build. Along with all other historical areas of the National Park Service, the memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall dedicated the Arch on May 25, 1968.
In 1984, Congress authorized the enlargement of the Memorial to include up to 100 acres (0.4 km2) on the east bank of the Mississippi River in East St. Louis, Illinois. Funds were authorized to begin land acquisition, but Congress placed a moratorium upon NPS land acquisitions in fiscal year 1998. The moratorium continued into the 21st century, with expansion becoming less likely because of the construction of a riverboat gambling facility and related amenities.
During the Great Flood of 1993, Mississippi flood waters reached half way up the Grand Staircase on the east.
In 1999, the Arch tram queue areas were completely renovated at a cost of approximately $2.2 million.
In 1999 the Ulysses S.
The arch was featured on the Missouri state quarter in 2003.
In 2007 St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and former Missouri Senator John Danforth asked the National Park Service to create a more "active" use of the grounds of the memorial and model it on Millennium Park in Chicago including the possibility of an amphitheater, cafes and restaurants, fountains, bicycle rentals, sculptures and an aquarium. The National Park Service is currently cool to the plan noting that the only other overt development pressure on National Park property has been at the Jackson Hole Airport in Grand Teton National Park.
The Memorial is separated from the rest of Downtown St.
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