Amending the Arch | St. Louis Public Radio

Amending the Arch

Used with permission from Yale University Press. From Eero Saarinen Papers Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, Photograph by Richard Knight

Originally published July 1, 2013 — Author and historian Tracy Campbell views the Gateway Arch as an architectural wonder which draws millions of tourists to St. Louis, though he also argues the landmark is “an example of failed urban planning.”

To make way for the monument, nearly forty square blocks of riverfront property were demolished.  The demolition began during a public ceremony on October 9, 1939.

City leaders only gained traction for the project once it was framed as a monument to President Thomas Jefferson.

Courtesy CityArchRiver

The "Park Over The Highway" project, commonly known around town as "the lid" portion of the CityArchRiver plan, has a contractor.

The Missouri Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that St. Louis contractor KCI Construction had the winning bid for the project.

At $26.4 million, MoDOT said KCI's bid was also the lowest submitted.

(Bill Raack/St. Louis Public Radio)

The renovation of the Gateway Arch grounds is being called a “magnificent project” by two presidential cabinet members. 

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were in St. Louis Wednesday to celebrate a new $20 million federal grant for the project. The grant will help pay for a new “pedestrian lid” over Interstate 70 so people can move more easily between the Arch and downtown St. Louis.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Late Friday afternoon, William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, announced that the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, also known as the Gateway Arch and its grounds, has received a federal transportation grant. The grant will help fund engineering and planning for a pedestrian connector linking the Arch and downtown St. Louis.

(via Flickr/Digital Sextant)

Kiener Plaza is likely to be the first portion of the Gateway Arch project to be completed.

Those familiar with the project say it's slated for completion in the fall of 2013.

The plan for the Plaza includes a performance pavilion, an eating venue, seating, and water features.

Walter Metcalfe with the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, the group that sponsored the design competition, said work on Kiener Plaza can move forward more quickly because it's not part of the National Park.

Arch discussion deadline approaches

Jul 4, 2008
One of the goals of the new group, Groundswell for Change, is to improve the connectors between the Arch grounds and the Old Courthouse. 300 pixels 2008
Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 4, 2008 - That is our Arch.

So, it's not surprising that area residents are paying a good deal of attention these days to proposals and discussions about what to do with the 91-acre national park the Arch soars above – a site that attracts more than 3 million visitors a year.

Arch grounds: change or not?

Jun 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 26, 2008 - Former Missouri Sen. John C. Danforth believes the National Park Service has made up its mind against any changes or improvements to the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

He described a meeting last night in Forest Park, and another one next week at the Old Courthouse downtown, as  "window dressing."

Public meetings set to discuss Arch grounds

Jun 9, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 9, 2008: The National Park Service won't be replacing the Gateway Arch's gleaming stainless steel with, say, yellow enamel paint (or installing a drive-thru window), but if you have an idea for improving the grounds surrounding the 630-foot memorial, now is the time to speak up.

Arch superintendent Tom Bradley says that two upcoming "open house style meetings'' are designed to get people thinking about ways to improve the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which includes the Arch and Old Courthouse. There won't be an official presentation, but rather stations where five "preliminary alternatives" will be explained, and where people can ask questions and makes comments.

Public invited to discuss plans for Arch grounds

May 28, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: May 28, 2008 - What is your vision for the Gateway Arch grounds?

The National Park Service is inviting the public to weigh in on plans for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial at "open house style meetings'' on June 25 and July 1. The Memorial includes the Arch and Old Courthouse. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The National Park Service will consider improvements to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, including a design competition for the area and a better connection between the Memorial and downtown.

The St. Louis riverfront and Arch grounds could be transformed by the Arch's 50th birthday – Oct. 28, 2015 – by a major new cultural attraction.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The National Park Service will consider improvements to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, including recommendations by Walter Metcalfe, Peter Raven and Robert Archibald.

The Danforth Foundation is pleased that the National Park Service is initiating a public planning process that will consider improvements to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. We appreciate the Park Service's responsiveness toward our report of last August and its hard work in moving the issue to this stage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: 

Last summer, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay asked us to offer our counsel about how St. Louis can transform its Riverfront into a world-class destination for the people of our region and visitors.