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25 Interesting Facts About Gateway Arch & Its History, Elevator, and Age

Interesting Facts About Gateway Arch & Its History, Elevator, and Age

Here Are Top 25 Fun & Interesting Facts About Gateway Arch:

#1 The Gateway Arch, also known as the Gateway to the West, is the main component of The Gateway Arch National Park, formerly known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial until 2018.

#2 The renaming bill was introduced in the United States Senate in 2017 and was signed into law by President Trump this February 2018.

#3 The Arch was designed as a monument to the westward expansion of the US.


#4 The Gateway Arch is located at the site of St. Louis’s founding on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

#5 It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world with more than 4 million tourists annually. Also, about 1 million visitors travel to the top.

#6 It has a 630-foot span when measured from the outer edges of each leg. It is the tallest national monument in the US. Furthermore, it is the tallest arch in the world.

#7 Each leg at its base has had an engineering tolerance of one-64th of an inch (0.40 mm).

#8 The foundations for each leg of the Arch are about 60 feet deep. The total weight of the Arch is 43,220 pounds.


#9 The origins of the Gateway Arch came from Luther Ely Smith, an attorney – in 1933. Smith first contemplated building a monument to revitalize St. Louis riverfront area during the Great Depression (a severe worldwide economic depression which took place mostly during the 1930s).

#10 On February 12, 1963, the construction of this monument started. Although it was scheduled to open publicly in 1964, completion of the Arch took place only on October 28, 1965.

#11 It was opened to the public on 24th July 1967. Due to the construction timeline running longer than expected, the dedication ceremony date was re-set a few several times. On May 1968, it was officially dedicated by Vice President Humphrey.

#12 The main construction materials used to build the monument were concrete and steel. The outside skin consists of stainless steel.

#13 All the steel for the construction was supplied by the Pittsburgh-DesMoines Steel Company, an American steel fabrication company which operated until approximately 2002.

#14 The Arch has a hollow interior to facilitate two emergency stairwells of 1,076 steps each and a tram transport route.

#15 The tram runs at a speed of 340 feet per minute and it takes about 240 seconds to get up to the top of the monument. At full capacity, the trams transport 225 passengers per hour.

#16 It has 142 triangular sections positioned on top of one another and welded on the inside and outside.

#17 The structure sways approximately 1 inch in a 20 mph wind and it is built to sway up to 18 inches in 150 miles an hour winds.

#18 The design for the monument was determined during a nationwide competition which was held between 1947-1948.

#19 The Arch was designed by Eero Saarinen, a Finnish-American architect, in 1947. Saarinen never saw his project truly come to life since he died in 1961 of a brain tumor.

#20 The cost to build the monument totaled 13 million dollars, that today would equal somewhere close to $99 million.

#21 On June 2, 1987, it was listed as a National Historic Landmark.

#22 There were no deaths in the construction of this monument despite workers commonly not wearing safety harnesses.

Opening & Closing Dates

#23 It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

#24 You must get a ticket to enter the monument. An entry and tram ride (and Arch Facility Entry + Documentary Movie) combo ticket is $13 for adults and $10 for children. Just an entry-only ticket is $3.

#25 When you visit the monument, you can also visit the Museum of Westward Expansion in the building at the base of the Arch.

Other Popular Man Made Arches

Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

The Arc de Triomphe stands at the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle. The construction of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris was ordered in 1806 by Napoleon Bonaparte, a military general who became the 1st emperor of France.

India Gate, New Delhi, India

It is one of the largest war memorials in India and was designed by the chief architect of New Delhi, named Edwin Lutyens. The design of this monument is similar to that of Arc De Triomphe in Paris.

Rua Augusta Arch, Lisbon, Portugal

It is located at the northern end of Praça do Comércio on Rua Augusta in Lisbon, by the River Tagus.

Rua Augusta Arch was built to commemorate the city’s reconstruction after the 1755 earthquake. It has 6 columns and is adorned with statues of various historical figures.

Patuxai Victory Monument, Laos

Patuxai Victory Monument, also known as the Arc of the triumph of Vientiane, was designed to pay homage to its national traditions and culture.

Victory Gate, Munich, Germany

It is a three-arched triumphal arch crowned with a statue of Bavaria with a lion-quadriga. The arch is also decorated with winged statues which represent victory as well as bas-reliefs depicting battle scenes.



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