Gateway Arch Museum photo by Betty Moore

New Museum Welcomes Visitors to Gateway Arch

The Museum at the Gateway Arch National Park and new West Entrance, opened in July 2018, marking the last major pieces of the $380 million dollar project.

From the new Lobby, visitors descend via elevators or stairs to mezzanine level or the lower, main level of the Museum/Visitor Center. The mezzanine level includes space for educational activities and special events and introduces visitors to themes presented in the new exhibits. On the lower level, at the base of the stairways and escalators, is the new exhibit gallery that connects to the larger exhibit gallery area in the renovated existing building.

The new exhibits provide an engaging, interactive museum experience. Several new exhibit galleries take visitors back in time to explore multiple perspectives of Thomas Jefferson's vision of a continental nation, the role of St. Louis as the gateway to westward expansion and the third busiest port during the 19th century, and the legacy and heritage of individuals and cultural groups who played significant roles. Visitors also get a close-up look at the history of the construction of the iconic Gateway Arch and the architects, engineers and builders who made it happen.

The exhibits showcase illustrated historical narratives, primary source documents, historical art and artifacts. An assortment of multimedia exhibits allow visitors to view large-screen video re-enactments of the Lewis and Clark expedition, participate in simulated electronic journeys west, and learn about colonial history with animated maps and timelines.

Gateway Arch National Park is located at 11 N. 4th Street St. Louis, MO 63102. For more information, call 314-655-1700. For Tram Tickets, call 877-982-1410. (Closed until further notice.)


Gateway Arch Museum Entrance photo by Betty Moore

Visitors can enter the new west entrance without a single stair step or ramp and enjoy sweeping views of the Old Courthouse and St. Louis through the wall of glass.

Arch Museum photo by Betty Moore

Multimedia exhibits in the west entrance provide visitors with an opportunity to view large-screen video re-enactments of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Arch museum exhibit photo by Betty Moore

The riverfront era exhibit features an intricate scale model of a five-block section of the city in 1852 featuring riverboats and warehouses.

West Entrance to Gateway Arch photo by Betty Moore

History

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park, now Gateway Arch National Park, was established on the banks of the Mississippi River, on December 21, 1935, to commemorate the westward growth of the United States between 1803 and 1890. Cost for the $30 million national monument was shared by the federal government and the City of St. Louis.

The park features the Gateway Arch, designed by architect Eero Saarinen who won the design competition in 1947. The stainless steel structure rises 630 feet high from a 60-foot foundation and spans 630 feet at ground level. Its classic weighted catenary curve sways 1/2" - 1" in 20 mph wind. The Arch weighs 17,246 tons.

Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history. Construction on the nation's tallest memorial, built at a cost of $13 million began February 12, 1963 with the "topping out" on October 28, 1965. It was dedicated in 1966.

Historic Old Cathedral Basilica photo by Bob Moore
Old Cathedral Basilica

The St. Louis' historic Old Cathedral, known officially as the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, is one of the world's most honored churches. It stands on a tiny plot on the downtown riverfront near the south leg of the Gateway Arch. The original log chapel was dedicated over 200 years ago in 1770.

The structure of the Old Cathedral, completed in the autumn of 1834, is a prominent example of Greek Revival architecture in the United States, and it is included on the National Register of Historic Places. The exterior stone facade and the four columns that support the Doric style portico are carved from Joliet stone, mined near Joliet, Ill.

In 1961, the most important honor ever afforded any American church was handed down by His Holiness, the late Pope John XXIII, who decreed Basilican status upon the church. An intensive rehabilitation program on the appearance of the Old Cathedral was completed in 1963.

Visitors can see the tomb of Bishop Joseph Rosati, builder of the present Old Cathedral building, paintings dating back to the late 1700's and a dramatic series of Arteaga photos at the Old Cathedral Museum.

The Old Cathredal Basilica is located at 209 Walnut Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102.

For more information, call 314-231-3250.

Tom Sawyer Riverboat photo by Betty Moore

Riverboat Cruises

The Becky Thatcher and the Tom Sawyer were originally used to take curious sightseers out on the river to view the construction of the Gateway Arch. The boats now offer variety of sightseeing, dinner, and specialty outings.

Cruise reservations are required by calling 1-877-982-1410 or booking online at gatewayarch.com/buytickets.

The Riverboats at the Gateway Arch are located below the south leg of the Gateway Arch at 50 S. Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63102.

Parking is available on the Mississippi River levee in front of the boats for a cash fee.

The Riverboats at the Gateway Arch are temporarily suspended until further notice.

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