Why the St. Louis Arch was built?
The St. Louis Arch, also known as the Gateway Arch, was built to commemorate the westward expansion of the United States and to serve as a symbol of St. Louis, Missouri. The idea for the arch was conceived in the early 1930s as part of a project to revitalize the waterfront area in St. Louis.
The arch was designed by architect Eero Saarinen and construction began in 1963. It was completed in 1965 and officially dedicated on May 25, 1968. The arch stands at a height of 630 feet (192 meters), making it the tallest arch in the world and the tallest monument in the Western Hemisphere.
The St. Louis Arch symbolizes several concepts. It represents the historical significance of St. Louis as the "Gateway to the West," as the city was a crucial starting point for many westward expeditions and migrations during the 19th century. The arch also stands as a symbol of the pioneering spirit, adventure, and exploration that defined the American expansion westward.
Additionally, the arch serves as a testament to human achievement and engineering excellence. Its unique curved stainless steel design was groundbreaking at the time and required innovative construction techniques. The arch has become an iconic symbol of St. Louis and attracts millions of visitors each year who come to admire its architectural beauty and enjoy the panoramic views of the city from its observation area.
Overall, the St. Louis Arch was built to commemorate and celebrate the westward expansion of the United States, to symbolize the historical significance of St. Louis as the "Gateway to the West," and to serve as an iconic landmark representing human achievement and engineering excellence.