|A shot from the banks of the Mississippi River|
It (the arch) was conceived as one of the three or four great symbols of our country. In other words, that it would take its place with the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, in reminding adults and children of the historic events of westward expansion.Morehead, Kentucky, to see Brent, we built in several stops along the way. After Randy's back surgery in November, we wanted to include opportunities to get out of the car and stretch.
Eero Saarinen, Arch Designer & Architect
The Gateway Arch was one of our stops. We had visited the Arch years ago. We'd seen it from the highway several times in recent years - when we moved Jill from Nashville to Omaha and when we moved Brent from Manhattan to Columbia, S.C. But this time, we saw it up close again instead of at 65 MPH.
When we first arrived in St. Louis, the sky was crystal clear. By the time we traveled to the top of the arch and returned to earth, clouds had drifted into the bright blue scenery.
Few architectural visions have been so powerful and pure. Yet to imagine an arch was very different from constructing a real monument as high as a 60-story building, subject to extreme temperatures, heavy winds, earthquakes and complex stresses within the gigantic frame.When you buy your ticket to ride to the top of the arch, they ask if you are claustrophobic. Hmmm - Maybe just a little. On our ride up, Randy and I were crammed into a little car with a mom, dad and elementary-aged little boy. The little boy was a good distraction. It takes four minutes for the trams to reach the top of the arch, but only three minutes to ride down. Isn't gravity grand?
From the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial brochure
But it was the other side of the observation deck that caught my Kansas farm guy's attention.