St Louis Gateway Arch at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
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The Gateway Arch, also known as the Gateway to the West, is an integral part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the iconic image of St. Louis, Missouri. It was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947. It stands 630 feet (192 m) tall, and is 630 feet (192 m) wide at its base, making it the tallest monument in the United States. Construction of the arch started on February 12, 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965. The monument opened to the public on July 10, 1967
The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is located in St. Louis, Missouri, near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was designated as a National Memorial by Executive Order 7523, on December 21, 1935, and is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS).
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.