How tall is the Gateway Arch?
630 feet, which is 63 stories, 192 meters, or 7,560 inches tall, making it the tallest man-made monument in the United States—taller than the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, and even the Space Needle in Seattle. From the base of one leg to the other, the Arch is as wide as it is tall! Each leg of the Arch is 54 feet wide at the base, tapering to 17 feet wide where they meet at the top.
How far can I see from the top?
On a clear day, you can see up to 30 miles in either direction. View St. Louis and Missouri looking out the west windows. See the Mississippi River and Illinois to the east.
How long does the Tram Ride to the Top take?
The entire tour takes on average 45 minutes to an hour. First, your tour guide will lead you through an interactive multimedia experience prior to boarding the tram. Once on the tram, it is a 4 minute ride to the top and a 3 minute ride back down. However, when you get to the top observation deck you may stay as long as you would like. When you are ready to head back down to the lobby, just board the next tram as they run every 10 minutes.
Why was the Gateway Arch built?
The structure was built as a monument to the vision of President Thomas Jefferson and to St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States. That’s why both the Arch and St. Louis are often referred to as “the Gateway to the West”.
As of February 22nd, 2018, this National Park's name officially changed to Gateway Arch National Park. Why was it previously called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial?
It was built as a memorial to President Thomas Jefferson, who championed the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and sent Lewis & Clark on their great expedition westward. The entire Jefferson National Expansion Memorial consists of the Gateway Arch and grounds (about 62 acres), plus another 30 acres encompassing the Old Courthouse, Luther Ely Smith Square, and many of the surrounding streets.
What is the Gateway Arch made of?
Steel and concrete. It has a double wall construction with ¼” stainless steel skin on the outside and 3/8” structural steel on the inside. The distance between the skin at the surface is 3 feet, narrowing to less than 1 foot at the top. There is a layer of concrete between the skins going approximately half way up the legs of the Gateway Arch. To support this massive, 43,226-ton structure, the foundations go about 60 feet into the ground.
Who designed the Gateway Arch?
Finnish-American architect and designer Eero Saarinen won a national design competition in 1947, earning the privilege to design this timeless monument.
Does the Arch sway?
Under normal conditions, the Gateway Arch does not sway, although it was designed to sway as much as 18 inches and can withstand an earthquake. It takes a 50-mile per hour wind to move the top just 1.5 inches either side of center.
Who built the Gateway Arch?
MacDonald Construction Company of St. Louis was the primary contractor on the project. A few hundred workers built the Gateway Arch with no loss of life, despite the danger involved in raising such a tall, unique structure.
Why are the windows at the top so small?
To install the last 4-foot section at the top, builders had to use over 500 tons of pressure to pry apart the north and south legs of the Arch. Larger windows could not withstand that pressure. At just 7”x27” in size, the 16 windows on each side of the observation deck may seem small. But the views they reveal are truly monumental.
How long did it take to build the Gateway Arch?
Construction began February 12, 1963. The final piece was put in place on October 28, 1965. The trams were not completed for over 2 years, with the north tram opening in July 1967 and the south tram in May 1968.
How fast and how often do the tram capsules go up?
The tram capsules rise at 340 feet per minute, or approximately 3.86 miles per hour. If both trams are running, 8 capsules with up to 5 passengers go up every 5 minutes. That means up to 480 passengers can ride to the top in an hour.
Can guests take the stairs?
There are 1,076 steps inside the Gateway Arch. And even if you wanted to climb them, you cannot. The steps are used for maintenance and emergency purposes only.
How long can I stay at the top?
Guests are welcome to stay in the observation platform as long as you like. However, note that there are no restroom facilities or food service at the top.