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Danforth Foundation withdraws Arch offer

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Former Senator John Danforth is withdrawing his family foundation's offer of $50 million - at least for now - to fund any cultural attraction that may be built on the Gateway Arch grounds.

A Danforth Foundation spokesman says the former Republican senator wrote Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne late last week, that the previous offer would be hard to fulfill given the stock market's decline.

The foundation pledged support of a major, above-ground, architecturally significant cultural attraction that is centrally located on the 91 acres of National Park Service land surrounding the Arch.

But it's not clear that's what the Park Service envisions.

It's considering a design competition to revitalize the Arch grounds, but has said any changes would have to conform to the property's status as a historical landmark.

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