Gateway Arch

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri lawmakers have approved legislation that would allow residents in the St. Louis area to vote on whether to raise a local sales tax to help fund improvements at the Gateway Arch.

The measure would allow a local election on a 3/16 percent sales tax. Part of the money would go to the Gateway Arch, and a portion would go to local parks. It also would allow voters in the Kansas City area to decide on a 1/10th percent sales tax for parks, trails and greenways in Jackson County.

(David Cappaert, Michigan State University)

Nearly half of the trees on the grounds of the Gateway Arch will be removed and replaced with a different species.

The National Park Service said Thursday that more than 900 Rosehill ash trees will be taken out over concerns about the threat posed by the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that has killed millions of ash trees in 15 states. Officials at the Arch say the ash trees on the grounds are also showing signs of decline from urban factors like air pollution and less than ideal soil.

(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)

The effort to upgrade the grounds of the Gateway Arch is getting a boost from the federal government - a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The agency planning the project, CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, announced Monday that the grant will pay for roadway improvements along Interstate 70 near the site of the Arch, including a pedestrian land bridge over I-70 connecting the Old Courthouse, Luther Ely Smith Square and the Arch grounds.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Members of many faiths gathered at the grounds of the Gateway Arch on Sunday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

The St. Louis office of the Council of American-Islamic Relations organized the event, which included a recitation of the Muslim afternoon prayer.

After 9/11, members of the Muslim community were blamed for the attacks simply because of their religion, said Faizan Syed, CAIR's executive director here in 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.

(David Cappaert, Michigan State University)

The National Park Service is bracing for the possible loss of more than 900 trees near the Gateway Arch. That’s what could happen if the emerald ash borer makes it to the St. Louis area.

The emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees since it was accidentally introduced to the U.S. in the early 1990s.

(Martin Pion, Conservion)

A ceremony will be held on the Gateway Arch grounds tomorrow to honor a woman who was struck and killed by a charter bus while walking in downtown St. Louis nine years ago.

Susie Stephens was a strong advocate for bicycle and pedestrian safety, and was attending a conference on the issue in 2002 when she lost her life near the Adam's Mark Hotel. Her mother, Nancy MacKerrow, has been planting trees around the country in Susie's honor for years, but this is the first in St. Louis.

St. Louis Public Radio

With the possibility of a federal government shutdown looming comes a less-obvious consequence.

The St. Louis Business Journal reports that if the shutdown occurs, a signature landmark of St. Louis, the Gateway Arch, would also close.

Updated 4:48 p.m. Feb. 9, 2011:

KSDK-TV reports that the injuries sustained were broken ribs and that Arch officials say the man was pinned between the tram and the structure of the Arch.

The Arch was closed for about an hour before it reopened.

Earlier Story:

(CityArchRiver 2015)

The $578 million plan to overhaul the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (better known as the Arch) now has oversight in place.

The updated plans for the Gateway Arch were revealed at a public meeting last night as well as the possible cost of the project.

The preliminary figure is $578.5 million.

Walter Metcalfe, Jr., who has headed up the CityArchRiver foundation that sponsored the design competition, says completing a vision is worth the price:

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior and the Transportation Secretary were in East St. Louis today to talk about improvements to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, a.k.a. the grounds of the Gateway Arch.

Walter Metcalfe
St. Louis Public Radio file photo

This time last year revitalizing the Arch grounds seemed to be the impossible dream. An idea put forth by the Danforth Foundation to create a museum above ground on the Arch grounds was nixed by the National Park Service, and with that decision an enormous amount of money and the prestige of the Foundation took a hike.

The impossible dreaming did not take into account the determination of St. Louis lawyer Walter Metcalfe Jr.

You can talk for hours with St. Louis area residents, visitors, architects and others to get their take on the five competing final design concepts for the Gateway Arch grounds and its surroundings. But you likely won't find another viewer like Brendan Lehand.

Walter Metcalfe at Arch news conference
Rachel Heidenry | Beacon | File photo

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar came to town today to take his own look at the five final competing plans for the Gateway Arch grounds and its surroundings, calling them all "truly exciting for me and for the nation."

And as he did on a visit here last July, months before the design competition got underway, he once again pledged his support for getting the winning design built by 2015 -- the 50th anniversary of the Arch.

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial commemorates the settlement of the west and distills that epic story into a single iconic symbol -- the Gateway Arch. Conceived in 1933, the Memorial began with a question: What should the city do about 40 blocks of historic riverfront buildings that were mostly vacant and deteriorating? The answer was obvious: commemorate all the history that happened in those buildings, history that fundamentally shaped our nation in the 19th century.

Vito Comporato, right, and another worker during the construction of the Gateway Arch.
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Archives

On the morning of Oct. 28, 1965, ironworker Vito Comporato peered down from atop the Gateway Arch and watched what looked like hundreds of ants gathering on the riverfront 630 feet below.

There were Boy Scout ants with American flags and busloads of the city's schoolchildren ants.

The mayor ant was down there, too, probably with the rest of the VIP ants on a dignitary platform the size of a twig.

File photo

As the new superintendent of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Tom Bradley had to hit the Arch grounds running -- learning the daily operations while tackling the question of whether and how to include the park in downtown St. Louis revitalization efforts.

On May 8, after just a week on the job, Bradley announced that the National Park Service will begin a public discussion on ways to reinvigorate the grounds of the 43-year-old Arch, as encouraged by the Danforth Foundation.