Perhaps the most suprising thing about the Arch is the name of the memorial that contains it. The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, affectionately called "JNEM". There are a few things that set the Arch apart from most of the other possessions of the National Park Service. It is one of the few park service holdings that is entirely man-made. No splendor of nature here. See those lakes in the pictures? They're ringed with concrete. Before the JNEM was built there were several city blocks here. Don't take this to mean that the St. Louis Arch isn't impressive, it is. Very.
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Copyright 1996, G. Edward Johnson.
Useless Trivia: Is the arch taller than it is wide, or wider than it is tall?
The Gateway Arch
Probably the best known formation in the park, the Arch towers 630 feet above you.
Useful Answer: It is just as wide as it is tall. 630 feet wide, 630 feet tall.
At 630 feet, it is taller than the Washington Monument (555 ft.) and the Statue of Liberty (305 ft.) but shorter than the Eiffel Tower (984 ft.) It is also taller than most people. :)
From the observation room at the top of the arch, you can see the whole JNEM, including the shadow of the arch.
They have thoughtfully provided a tram system so you don't have to walk up all 1076 stairs. It costs money to get in the hot, cramped capsules of the tram, but the view is worth it.
There are two trams, one in each leg. Each tram can carry 40 people a trip in eight 5 person capsules. Each capsule is a cylinder, as the arch curves upward, the cylinder rotates to keep you level.
The trams run seven days a week. In the summer, the first trip up is 8:30 am and the last trip up is 9:10 pm. In the winter, the first trip up is 9:30 am and the last trip up is 5:10 pm. Summer hours are from the Saturday before Memorial Day to Labor Day. The tram is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years days.
The Arch and the Sun
Here is one leg of the arch with the sun peeking around the corner.
Arch of Gold
What could be more fitting than the Golden Arches in the Shadow of the Gateway Arch? It is the worlds only Riverboat McDonalds and it is coming to take you away. Although it is floating, it never leaves the shore, no cheap dinner cruises here. The McDonalds is the boat near the top of the picture.
The Old Courthouse
At the edge of the memorial is the Old Courthouse. For more than 150 years the courthouse dispensed justice and government services. The most celebrated case tried here was the Dred Scott case. There is an exhibit about it in the courthouse.
in the water.
The arch above
From the ground, looking up at the arch makes it look like it is alot less stable than it seems from a distance.
The base of the arch
The shear size of it sometimes overwhelms your sense of scale. Here are people standing all around the base of one of the legs of the arch.
Between the arches legs
From the top of the arch looking straight down. Just inside the legs are the ramps that go to the underground visitor center. The little dots on the ramps are people.
The arch at night
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Copyright 1995-2011, G. Edward Johnson. All rights reserved.