How to Go Up the St. Louis Arch?

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The St. Louis Arch, also known as the Gateway Arch, is an iconic monument located in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. It is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, commemorating the westward expansion of the United States. Here are some key details about the St. Louis Arch:

  1. Design: The Arch was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and was built as a symbolic gateway to the American West. Its unique design consists of a stainless steel exterior and a catenary curve, which is the shape formed by a stretched chain hanging freely between two points.
  2. Dimensions: The Arch stands at a height of 630 feet (192 meters), making it the tallest man-made monument in the United States. It spans a base width of 630 feet (192 meters) as well.
  3. Construction: Construction of the Arch began on February 12, 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965. The Arch's legs are built using a triangular cross-section, narrowing as they rise to meet at the top.
  4. Tram Ride: Visitors can ascend to the top of the Arch using an enclosed tram system. The capsules hold up to five people and travel on an incline, providing stunning views of the city and the Mississippi River when reaching the observation area.
  5. Grounds and Museum: The Arch is surrounded by the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park, which comprises 91 acres. Within these grounds, visitors can explore the Museum of Westward Expansion, which showcases exhibits and artifacts highlighting the historical significance of westward expansion in the United States.
  6. National Park: In 2018, the site was redesignated from the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial to Gateway Arch National Park. This park is managed by the National Park Service and offers various educational and recreational activities for visitors.
  7. Symbolic Meaning: The Arch has become an iconic symbol of St. Louis and the American West. It represents the city's historical role as the Gateway to the West during the westward expansion of the United States in the 19th century.

The St. Louis Arch continues to be a popular tourist attraction, drawing millions of visitors each year. Its unique design and historical significance make it a must-visit landmark in St. Louis.


How to go up the St. Louis Arch?

To go up the St. Louis Arch, also known as the Gateway Arch, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase Tickets: Visit the official website of the Gateway Arch National Park (https://www.gatewayarch.com/) to purchase timed entry tickets. It is advisable to make advanced reservations as they tend to sell out quickly, especially during peak travel seasons.
  2. Arrive at the Arch: The Gateway Arch is located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Plan your visit accordingly and make your way to the grounds of the Gateway Arch National Park.
  3. Enter the Visitor Center: Once you arrive at the park, enter the Visitor Center, which is located underground. Here you can pick up your pre-purchased tickets or buy them if available.
  4. Security Check: Before proceeding to the arch, you will need to go through a security check, similar to airport security. Make sure to follow the guidelines provided by the park staff.
  5. Board the Tram: The tram ride is the primary way to reach the top of the Arch. The entrance to the tram area is adjacent to the security checkpoint in the Visitor Center. Hop on the small, enclosed tram pod and prepare for a unique journey to the top.
  6. Enjoy the Ride: The tram ride to the top of the Arch is approximately four minutes long. As you ascend, you will experience a slight swaying motion due to the arch's design. It's a thrilling and memorable experience.
  7. Reach the Observation Deck: Once the tram reaches the top, you will arrive at the observation deck, which offers stunning views of the city and the Mississippi River. Take your time to enjoy the scenery and take photographs.
  8. Explore the Museum: As part of your ticket, you can also visit the Museum of Westward Expansion located at the base of the Arch. It provides insights into the history of westward expansion and the construction of the Arch.
  9. Descend and Exit: After experiencing the observation deck and exploring the museum, you will board the tram once again to descend back to the Visitor Center. Follow the instructions provided by the staff.

Note: Be aware that due to time restrictions and visitor capacity limits, you may have a specific time slot reserved for your tram ride. Plan your visit accordingly, arrive early, and follow the instructions provided by the Gateway Arch National Park staff to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


What's inside the St. Louis arch?

Inside the St. Louis Arch, also known as the Gateway Arch, there are various visitor facilities and attractions. This includes a visitor center with an extensive museum educating visitors about the history of the arch, the city of St. Louis, and its significance as a symbol of westward expansion.


There is a tram system that takes visitors to the top of the arch, offering panoramic views of the city and the Mississippi River. The top of the arch consists of an observation deck, where visitors can enjoy the breathtaking vistas.


Additionally, there are gift shops and dining options available within the arch, providing visitors with souvenirs and refreshments.


Best St Louis Arch Books to Read in April 2024

1
The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, the Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch, 2nd Edition

Rating is 5 out of 5

The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, the Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch, 2nd Edition

2
Golfing Before the Arch; A History of St. Louis Golf

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Golfing Before the Arch; A History of St. Louis Golf

3
St. Louis Gateway Arch (Symbols of Freedom)

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

St. Louis Gateway Arch (Symbols of Freedom)

4
Gateway Arch: An Illustrated Timeline

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Gateway Arch: An Illustrated Timeline

5
St. Louis Then and Now®

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

St. Louis Then and Now®


How does the St. Louis Arch elevator work?

The St. Louis Arch, also known as the Gateway Arch, features a unique and innovative vertical transportation system. The elevator system is designed to carry visitors to the top of the arch, providing them with breathtaking views of the city and the Mississippi River.

  1. Tramcars: The Arch's elevator consists of eight small, egg-shaped tramcars known as "Pods." These tramcars are built to accommodate up to five passengers each.
  2. Tunnels: The tramcars move through a series of narrow tunnels on their way up and down the Arch. These tunnels are essential for maintaining stability and preventing any significant movement of the Arch, which could be hazardous.
  3. Racks and Pinions: To move vertically along the Arch, the tramcars are attached to a series of racks on either side of the tunnel walls. The racks feature vertical teeth-like structures that mesh with pinions attached to the sides of the tramcars. This system allows for precise control of the tramcars' movement along the curved surface of the Arch.
  4. Electric Motor: The tramcars are hoisted up and down the Arch by an electric motor located at the top. The motor provides the necessary power and force to move the tramcars through the tunnels, along with counterweights that help maintain balance.
  5. Ascending and Descending: The elevator system operates in a pendulum-like manner. When visitors enter the tramcars, they are lifted through the inclined tunnels to the top of the Arch, reaching a height of 630 feet (192 meters). The process is then reversed to bring passengers back down.
  6. Safety Features: The elevator system is equipped with a range of safety features, including emergency stop buttons, fire suppression systems, and backup power sources. Regular maintenance and inspections ensure the system's proper functioning and visitor safety.

It is worth noting that the original tramcars used when the Arch was constructed in the 1960s were replaced with new ones in 2017, enhancing passenger comfort and safety.

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