Saint Louis Gateway Arch
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
11 N. 4th Street
St. Louis, MO 63102
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Birthday Party and Special Programs Planned for National Parks Centennial Celebration
The Captains' Return statue, by sculptor Harry Weber, depicting the return of the Lewis and Clark expedition was first installed near the Eads Bridge in September of 2006 to mark the 200th anniversary of that event. The 9,000 pound, 22 foot tall sculpture was removed from the riverfront in April 2014 for restoration and reinstalled April 2016 to a new location, just north of the Gateway Arch.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), August 22, 2016 - Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will celebrate the National Park Service Centennial with special activities, August 25 - 28, 2016.
Superintendent Mike Ward will be joined by city and state leaders in Luther Ely Smith Square for a Commemoration Celebration, Thursday, August 25, at 11 a.m.
Immediately following, visitors can enjoy lunch from local food trucks, free birthday cupcakes from local dessert eateries, and a free concert from the Centennial Band from the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Visitors can bring a picnic of their own to enjoy on the grounds of Luther Ely Smith
Square as well.
Visitors can enjoy an original play "Lift Every Voice: The Black Experience in the Heartland" on Saturday, August 27, 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. in the Old Courthouse Rotunda.
"Lift Every Voice" celebrates the National Park Service's Centennial and the
many Black Americans who made a difference in the American Midwest with interactive scenes that bring pages of history to life. This play is ideal for kids ages 8-12, but all are invited to enjoy this performance.
The Centennial Band from the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park will perform a free concert, Saturday, August 27, 12 p.m., in the Old Courthouse Rotunda. Other local opportunities to enjoy a free concert from Centennial Band: National Blues Museum (August 23, 12-1 p.m.); Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site (August 25, 7-8 p.m.); Blues at the Arch concert series in Luther Ely Smith Square (August 26, 5:30-6:15 p.m.); and Ford Plaza at Busch Stadium (August 27, 4-6 p.m.).
A performance of the Dred Scott Mock Trial will be presented Saturday, August 27, 9 a.m. & 3 p.m. in an Old Courthouse Courtroom.
Married couple and St. Louis natives Cole and Elizabeth Donelson, the "Switchback Kids," will present a free, illustrated program, Sunday, August 28, at 5 p.m., in which they will share pictures and stories of their yearlong journey visiting all 59 national parksin honor of the National Park Service's Centennial.
In celebration of the Centennial, all guests to the Gateway Arch can enjoy $3 off their adult Arch tram ticket, and free Entry-Only tickets.
Gateway Arch Reopens Tram Rides to Top on Limited Basis
Visitors can use the new Great Rivers Greenway bike trail on the Central Riverfront or take a leisure stroll along the levee on Leonor K Sullivan Boulevard.
The entire riverfront was elevated an average of almost two feet to limit flooding, returning more days of the year back to the community for walking, riding bikes, sightseeing and special events. While the historic elements were preserved, such as the cobblestones lining the levee; new amenities such as benches, bike racks, lights, power outlets and a street-level stage will make the space more inviting for events and programs.
The lineup for 2016 summer and fall includes bike rides, walk/run events, the St. Louis Brewers Guild Heritage Festival, a free concert series with The Sheldon, swap meets and more.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - Although the Gateway Arch Visitor Center is not open due to continued remodeling in the lobby below, tram rides to the top of the Arch have resumed on a limited basis while staff perfect new ticketing and scheduling procedures, and implement improved tour operations.
At this time, restroom facilities inside the Gateway Arch are temporarily unavailable. Alternate restrooms facilities include the Old Courthouse Visitor Center (11 North 4th Street) and portable restrooms at the north leg of the Gateway Arch.
1.) Tickets may be purchased at the Old Courthouse, by calling 877-982-1410 or going online at www.gatewayarch.com/buytickets.
Please note: Due to capacity restrictions, visitors must have a timed Journey to the Top tram ticket to enter the monument. Entry-only tickets are not available at this time.
2.) The Journey to the Top tram ride may not be fully accessible to guests with mobility impairments.
3.) Due to security measures at the Gateway Arch, all visitors to the Arch must pass through an airport style security checkpoint. No weapons - including firearms, knives, pepper spray, mace, or electronic weapons - are allowed.
4.) Group pricing is not available for online purchases - please contact the Call Center at (877) 982-1410 to make a group reservation.
Visitors can see "Monument to the Dream" film at the Old Courthouse.
A renovated Arch Museum Store, a new digital projection system in the Tucker Theater, renovated restrooms, lighting and flooring updates will debut Spring 2016.
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.
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.
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.
Visitors to the CityArchRiver 2015 project website can view archived progress and time-lapse videos of construction: www.cityarchriver.org/construction/webcam/
Basilica of St. Louis King of France (Old Cathedral)
The nearly 180-year-old Basilica of St. Louis King of France, known fondly as the "Old Cathedral", is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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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