Gateway Arch


Soaring 630 feet above the Mississippi River, the Gateway Arch helps commemorate the 1803-1890 westward expansion that made St. Louis the Gateway to the West. The Arch, an engineering marvel designed by Eero Saarinen, takes the shape of an inverted catenary curve (a shape such as would be formed by a heavy chain hanging freely between two supports). Constructed in 1961-66, the complex engineering design is completely hidden from view. All that can be seen is its sparkling stainless steel outside skin and inner skin of carbon steel, which combine to carry the gravity and wind loads to the ground.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil
Topic(s):Structures
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The Gateway Arch is 75 feet taller than the Washington Monument and more than twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty. The 60-foot heads carved on the face of Mount Rushmore are designed to the scale of men who would stand 465 feet tall, a height that would easily allow such giants to walk under the Arch.