Gateway Arch Park Foundation | St. Louis Public Radio

Gateway Arch Park Foundation

Attendees at Friday's "People's Ribbon Cutting" celebrate near the Gateway Arch grounds in St. Louis.
Wiley Price I St. Louis American

Darryl Gray made something abundantly clear at Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Arch grounds: The diverse gathering of elected officials, candidates and St. Louisans wasn’t a do-over.

After a group of white officials cut the ribbon in front of the Arch’s new visitors’ center and museum sparked public outcry Tuesday, Gray emphasized that Friday’s event was aimed at showcasing St. Louis’ diversity — and sending a message that racial and ethnic minorities need a place at the decision-making table.

A child runs through the reflecting pool at the Gateway Arch. The new museum and upgraded grounds were christened Tuesday, July 3, 2018, after a five-year renovation project.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The Normandy High School Band provided the beat and Mother Nature brought on the heat, as hundreds gathered on the St. Louis riverfront Tuesday morning to celebrate the opening of the new museum and visitors center at the Gateway Arch.

The ribbon cutting marked the final stage in a five-year project to revitalize the Arch grounds. Speakers emphasized the public-private partnership that planned and funded the $380 million project.

Three-year-old Brigid Horn looks up at the Gateway Arch after the opening of the Park Over the Highway. March 26, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Area schoolchildren made history at the Gateway Arch Monday afternoon, becoming the first visitors to cross the new walkway over Interstate 44 to enter the national park.

Officials with the Gateway Arch Park Foundation say the massive overhaul of the Arch grounds that began in 2013 is all about the future, so they wanted schoolchildren to be the first to use the Park Over the Highway when the construction fences came down. The entrance connects downtown St. Louis with the Arch and riverfront.