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Gateway Arch (St. Louis Arch)

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
St. Louis, Missouri

Gateway Arch
Photo: Daniel Schwen License: CC BY-SA 2.5
Officially named the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the arch was built to commemorate the Louisiana Purchase and St. Louis' role as the "gateway" to the western frontier of the early United States.

The Arch, designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel, is the tallest habitable structure in St. Louis and the second tallest in Missouri.

The Gateway Arch was built to commemorate the Louisiana Purchase, and the subsequent westward movement of American explorers and pioneers.

Underneath the Arch is a visitor center, entered from a descending outdoor ramp starting at either base. Within the center is the Museum of Westward Expansion.

A unique tram system that combins an elevator cable lift system with gimbaled cars functionally similar to ferris wheel gondolas lifts guest up to the observation area at the top of the arch.

The Gateway Arch is 630 feet high and the span of the legs at ground level is 630 feet across.

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