A GATEWAY TO GREATNESS: Part Symbol and Part Architectural Masterpiece, the Gateway Arch Defines St. Louis by ProQuest

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									FAMOUS PROPERTIES

A GATEwAY TO GREATNESS                      Part Symbol and Part
Architectural Masterpiece, the Gateway Arch Defines St. Louis

DIANA MIREL IS
                  Few cities are lucky enough to have a landmark        “[Smith] thought that if all the buildings were
A CONTRIBUTING
WRITER FOR JPM.   that has become a national icon. Enter the         torn down, a memorial to westward expansion
PLEASE SEND       Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The 630-feet stain-     and St. Louis’ role in the trans-Mississippi west
QUESTIONS
REGARDING         less steel monument has been a defining symbol     would benefit the city and put people back to
THIS ARTICLE TO   of the city for the more than 40 years. As the     work during the Great Depression,” Moore said.
MARKISAN NASO
                  nation’s tallest monument, the Gateway Arch           Smith presented his idea to the city fathers,
AT mnaso@irem.
orG.              was built as part of a memorial to westward        who embraced the idea and eventually took it
                  expansion.                                         to Washington and secured federal support and
                     “People tend to either appreciate the Arch as   funding. Before World War II, all of the build-
                  a symbol of St. Louis or they appreciate it as a   ings in a 37-block span along the riverfront
                  work of modern architecture and engineering,”      were torn down to prepare for the memorial.
                  said Bob Moore, historian for the Gateway Arch     However, when the war started, the funding dis-
ALTHOUGH THE      and the National Park Service.                     appeared and the riverfront remained empty.
GATEWAY ARCH
IN ST. LOUIS                                                            After the war, Smith resumed his quest to
WAS COMPLETED     visiOn Quest                                       realize his vision. He obtained enough private
IN 1965, THE
IDEA FOR THE
                  The idea for the memorial came about in the        donations to launch an architectural competi-
630-FEET          early 1930s, when a St. Louis lawyer named         tion to decide what the memorial would look
STAINLESS STEEL   Luther Ely Smith came up with the idea to          like. From the 172 anonymous entries, the
MONUMENT WAS
FIRST PROPOSED    create a memorial on the St. Louis riverfront,     expert jury chose a design by Eero Saarinen, a
IN THE EARLY      which was the oldest part of the city and had      first generation American from Finland.
1930S.
                  fallen on hard times.                                 “[Saarinen’s] entry was for a gigantic stainless
PHotoGRAPHY ©                                                        steel arch standing on the riverfront,” Moore
DAvID PReStoN
                                                                     said. “It was a magnificent idea, but no engi-
								
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