Saint Louis Gateway Arch
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
11 N. 4th Street
St. Louis, MO 63102
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Gateway Arch Closes for Inside Renovations to Improve Visitor Experience
Visitors can watch construction of the new museum entrance to the Gateway Arch, which closed January 4, 2016, for several months for inside renovations.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 3, 2016 - Visitor experiences inside the Gateway Arch facility - including entrance indoors, Journey to the Top tram rides, Monument to the Dream movie showings, and access to the Arch Museum Store and Levee Mercantile - will be temporarily suspended for several months, beginning January 4, 2016.
These aspects of the visitor experience will be made available in spring 2016, when a renovated Arch Museum Store, a new digital projection system in the Tucker Theater, renovated restrooms, lighting and flooring updates will debut.
The Gateway Arch park grounds and access to the exterior of the Arch, as well as access to the riverfront via the Arch Grand Staircase, will remain available for visitors.
Visitors can visit the base of the Arch's South Leg and the newly renovated Luther Ely Smith Square, located between the Arch and Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. The public can take in more of the CityArchRiver construction outdoors with a special viewing platform in the square. The Old Courthouse will continue to operate normally and will offer plenty of visitor activities during this time.
"We encourage everyone to visit the Old Courthouse to view free exhibit galleries focusing on early St. Louis, Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery expedition, and the settlement of the Great Plains, as well as restored original courtrooms and an exhibit gallery focused on Dred and Harriet Scott, and their freedom suit," said Rhonda Schier, Chief, Museum Services and Interpretation, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
During this time, the Old Courthouse will host a variety of free activities such as free viewings of Monument to the Dream documentary, which details the construction of the Gateway Arch; daily, ranger-led talks and interactive stations; and ranger-led walks to the Arch (weather permitting).
In addition, the Family Fun program on Saturdays at 10 a.m. features an interactive presentation on a westward bound pioneer group followed by a craft activity. Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., visitors can participate in a 30-minute Dred Scott mock trial, based on Scott's second trail held in the Old Courthouse. Visitors will play the roles of participants such as the bailiff and jury members.
Art and Music in the Old Courthouse program will be offered on Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m., and features a ranger-led talk and music as visitors participate in an indoor art project. Visitors interested in participating in any of these free programs should inquire with a ranger at the Information Desk in the Old Courthouse Rotunda. More information will be made available at www.gatewayarch.com.
The Arch Store, a new museum store designed by architect Charles Sparks & Co., will be constructed by local contractor ICS Construction Services. It will include interpretive products that align with the themes that will be presented in the new Arch museum, which opens in 2017. The store will sell homemade fudge that is currently available in the Levee Mercantile. These improvements, coupled with the CityArchRiver renovations to the park grounds and museum, will completely transform the Gateway Arch experience for all visitors.
"We are very eager to introduce this new shopping experience to visitors this spring," said David Grove, President and CEO of Jefferson National Parks Association, the nonprofit partner of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the organization funding the renovation. "This renovation will combine our current Arch Museum Store and Levee Mercantile into one, resulting in 4,000 square feet of store space. It will feature a blend of thematic merchandise relating both to the Gateway Arch and to the historic themes of the park."
Park Over Highway Connecting Arch to Downtown Takes Shape
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), October 11, 2015 - Landscape architects have redesigned the Luther Ely Smith Memorial Park, located in front of the east side of the historic Old Courthouse.
The park area has been raised up from its depressed site, so that it will create a more uniform walk from the Courthouse over the highway to the new entrance to the Gateway Arch museum, under construction as part of the CityArchRiver 2015 project.
On Sunday, hundreds of visitors in town for the playoff series between the Cardinals and the Cubs, enjoyed views of the new concrete benches, recently planted trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses as they walked along construction fencing surrounding the park.
Visitors can use the new Great Rivers Greenway bike trail on the Central Riverfront or take a leisure stroll along the levee and watch the riverboats and barge traffic on the Mississippi River.
The complex project, which includes the Park Over the Highway, a new Museum of Westward Expansion and renovation of Kiener Plaza, is being funded through a $20 million federal grant matched by $25 million from the state and $10 million from the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation.
Overall, the CityArchRiver 2015 initiative is expected to boost visitation to the memorial. CityArchRiver also expects the initiative to support an estimated 4,400 new permanent jobs in the region.
Visitors can access the riverfront and Arch through the normal Walnut Street Bridge by the Old Cathedral, where they can see visuals of the proposed landscaping for the CityArchRiver 2015 project.
Museum of Westward Expansion Closed for Renovation
Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard is being elevated to provide access for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles to a 1.5 mile promenade for activities between Biddle Street on the north and Chouteau Avenue south of the Gateway Arch. Conceptual image courtesy CityArchRiver 2015
A new glass entrance to the Museum of Westward Expansion below the Arch will face the Park Over the Highway and the Old Courthouse. Conceptual image courtesy CityArchRiver 2015
Visitors will be able to enter the new west entrance without a single stair step or ramp and enjoy sweeping view of the Old Courthouse and St. Louis through the sweeping wall of glass. Conceptual image courtesy CityArchRiver 2015
A large central aisle will allow easy access for visitors heading to the museum, tram rides and new exhibit space. Conceptual image courtesy CityArchRiver 2015
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - The Museum of Westward Expansion, located below the Gateway Arch, has been closed to make way for entirely new museum exhibits and visitor experience in association with the CityArchRiver 2015 project.
The Gateway Arch will remain open and will continue to offer Journey to the Top tram rides during this time; however, due to the limited capacity of the entire Gateway Arch facility, a timed ticket is required to enter the Arch. Journey to the Top tram ride tickets or Arch Entry-Only tickets can be purchased in person at the Old Courthouse or online at ticketsforthearch.com.
Other operational changes:
"After nearly 40 years, it's time to say goodbye to the Museum of Westward Expansion," said Ann Honious, Chief, Museum Services and Interpretation, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. "Although we are losing a St. Louis gem, we look forward to bringing visitors into the 21st century, and are committed to continuing to tell the stories of westward expansion and the Gateway Arch in modern, engaging and compelling ways."
- The Old Courthouse will serve as the Ticketing and Visitor Center for the Gateway Arch during construction.
- A Journey to the Top ticket will include a tram ride as well as the award-winning documentary Monument to the Dream (based on availability). For guests not wanting a tram ride, the Arch Entry-Only ticket will allow access into the Arch facility and admission to Monument to the Dream.
- During the winter, the Old Courthouse is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the Arch is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the summer (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day), Old Courthouse is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; the Arch is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The new interactive museum exhibits, designed by Haley Sharpe Design, will focus on six thematic areas, including colonial St. Louis, Jefferson's vision, the St. Louis Riverfront, Manifest Destiny, new frontiers, and the design and construction of the Gateway Arch. The Arch and museum will also receive a new westward-facing entrance. During construction, the Old Courthouse will host new temporary exhibit galleries developed from those in the Museum of Westward Expansion. The first of these galleries will open in late spring 2015.
Anticipated work also will begin on the fifth phase with the renovation of the Museum of Westward Expansion and Visitor Center.
This proposed project includes a new accessible west entrance and 45,183 square foot, concrete, glass, and stainless steel, multi-level addition to the existing 103,546 square foot facility beneath the Gateway Arch.
The new main entrance will be located to the west side of the existing underground museum, facing the Old Courthouse and the new Park over Highway to the west. The new upper level Lobby includes security screening, information, ticketing, a public gathering area, restrooms and circulation areas.
From the new Lobby, visitors will descend via elevators or stairs to mezzanine level or the lower, main level of the Museum/Visitor Center. The mezzanine level includes space for educational activities and special events and will introduce visitors to themes presented in the new exhibits. On the lower level, at the base of the stairways and escalators, is the new exhibit gallery that will connect to the larger new exhibit gallery area in the renovated existing building.
A new office area for Metro, operators of the Arch Tram, will be constructed in the current location of the Museum Store. The Museum Store will move to the space formerly occupied by the Odyssey Theater and a limited Food Service Concession will be located in the current area of the Levee Mercantile store.
The existing public bathrooms will be upgraded with new fixtures, accessories, and finishes. New finishes, ramps, and other accessibility improvements will be made to the exits leading to the Arch legs. The existing Visitor Center Lobby space will improved with new finishes, lighting and acoustical treatments. The Lobby's terrazzo floor will be removed and replaced.
The anticipated construction period is between Spring of 2015 and Spring 2017, with no mandated seasonal shutdowns. The North and South Park Grounds, North Gateway, Luther Ely Smith Square, and Ranger Station work will be underway simultaneously to the construction. The facility will remain open to the public for the Arch tram, Museum Store, Tucker Theater, and Levee Mercantile.
The work on the $33 million project was split up into 10 project packages. BSI Constructors, the project manager, worked with Great Rivers Greenway, the Federal Highway Administration and MoDOT to review the bids and select the firms.Great Rivers Greenway awarded more than $23 million of the contracts to St. Louis companies. Overall, the CityArchRiver 2015 initiative is expected to boost visitation to the memorial. CityArchRiver also expects the initiative to support an estimated 4,400 new permanent jobs in the region.
Visitors to the CityArchRiver 2015 project website can view archived progress and time-lapse videos of construction: www.cityarchriver.org/construction/webcam/
St. Louis Gateway Arch Provides Spectacular View of St. Louis City From 360 Feet Above
Visitors can use the new Great Rivers Greenway bike trail on the Central Riverfront or take a leisure stroll along the levee.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park was established on the banks of the Mississippi River, on December 21, 1935, to commemorate the westward growth of the United States between 1803 and 1890. Cost for the $30 million national monument was shared by the federal government and the City of St. Louis.
The park features the Gateway Arch, designed by architect Eero Saarinen who won the design competition in 1947. The stainless steel structure rises 630 feet high from a 60-foot foundation and spans 630 feet at ground level. Its classic weighted catenary curve sways 1/2" - 1" in 20 mph wind. The Arch weighs 17,246 tons. Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history. Construction on the nation's tallest memorial, built at a cost of $13 million began February 12, 1963 with the "topping out" on October 28, 1965. It was dedicated in 1966.
The floor plan of the Underground Visitor Center follows a circular pattern with galleries depicting a 100-year span of westward expansion and the Tucker Theatre. Additional attractions include two passenger trams to the observation room at the top and the Museum of Westward Expansion.
Visitors to the Gateway Arch can step back in time and savor the past at Levee Mercantile. The 1870s style riverfront general store is located in the Visitor Center beneath the Arch. Many food products selected for Levee Mercantile feature Missouri artisans who use traditional recipes and time-honored production methods.
Monument to the Dream - A documentary film by Charles Guggenheim on the construction of the Arch is shown daily in the Tucker Theatre. Large screen movies are shown on the Arch's Odyssey Theatre's four story high screen featuring a 70 mm projection system and THX Sound.
Summer hours - 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Arch trams will run daily starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 9:10 p.m. Trams to the top of the Arch leave at least every 10 minutes.
Winter hours - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week from the day after Labor Day until the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Arch trams will run daily starting at 9:20 am and ending at 5:10 pm. Trams to the top of the Arch leave at least every 10 minutes.
The Arch is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Accessibility at Gateway Arch:
The top of the Gateway Arch is not wheelchair accessible. To reach it and return, you must manage a minimum of 96 steps, which are separated by 6 flights of stairs. Please be aware you may need to stand for 30-60 minutes or longer, especially during the busy summer season. There is no seating or restrooms at the top of the Arch.
The Arch lobby, Tucker Theater and Odyssey Theatre are accessible to visitors using wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are available for loan on a first-come, first-served basis (inquire at information desk). Wheelchairs or strollers are not allowed at the top of the Gateway Arch. For further information, please contact us through our information line at 314-655-1700.
If you are a U.S. citizen and have a permanent disability, you may obtain a free Access Pass at the Gateway Arch Information Desk or at the Old Courthouse Museum Shop. The passport allows free admission to federal areas which charge an entrance fees and provides reductions for other types of user fees.
Tram tickets: $10 adults (16 & older); $5 children (3 - 15)
Movie Tickets: $7 adults (16 & older); $2.50 children (3 - 15).
Tram & 1 Movie: $14 adults (16 & older); $7.50 children (3 - 15)
Tram & 2 Movies: $18 adults (16 & older); $10 children (3 - 15)
2 Movies: $11 adults (16 & older); $5 children (3 - 15)
Each adult tram ticket includes a $3.00 National Park entrance fee. For more information or reservations, call 877-982-1410.
Basilica of St. Louis King of France (Old Cathedral)
A $15 million effort is underway to restore the nearly 180-year-old Basilica of St. Louis King of France - known fondly as the "Old Cathedral", which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See related story: Old Cathedral Under Wraps for Two Year Restoration
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - The St. Louis' historic Old Cathedral, known officially as the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, is one of the world's most honored churches. It stands on a tiny plot on the downtown riverfront near the south leg of the Gateway Arch. The original log chapel was dedicated over 200 years ago in 1770.
The structure of the Old Cathedral, completed in the autumn of 1834, is a prominent example of Greek Revival architecture in the United States, and it is included on the National Register of Historic Places. The exterior stone facade and the four columns that support the Doric style portico are carved from Joliet stone, mined near Joliet, Ill.
In 1961, the most important honor ever afforded any American church was handed down by His Holiness, the late Pope John XXIII, who decreed Basilican status upon the church. An intensive rehabilitation program on the appearance of the Old Cathedral was completed in 1963.
Visitors can see the tomb of Bishop Joseph Rosati, builder of the present Old Cathedral building, paintings dating back to the late 1700's and a dramatic series of Arteaga photos at the Old Cathedral Museum. The Old Cathredal is located at 209 Walnut Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102. For more information, call 314-231-3250.
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