No trip to St. Louis would be complete without a visit to the Gateway Arch along the Mississippi River. Although it seems as if it’s always been there, the Arch was completed in 1965.
The distance between the two “legs” of the Arch? 630 feet. The height of the Arch? 630 feet. And it weighs 17,426 tons. The bases are 54 feet wide; it’s 17 feet wide at the top.
You can take a small, slow-moving guided tram to the observation room. Slow-moving is right – 4 mph to be exact. Even so, just a couple of minutes and you’re able to see beautiful vistas of downtown St. Louis, the Mississippi, and into Illinois.
Each of the two legs has a different exhibit for visitors. The north leg display includes fascinating photographs and information about the construction of the Arch. The south leg display shows life along the St. Louis riverfront in the 1800s.
The Arch was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen. In the AIA’s selection of America’s Favorite Architecture, the Gateway Arch was voted number 14.