Saint Louis Gateway Arch
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
11 N. 4th Street
St. Louis, MO 63102
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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.
Gateway Arch Museum to Add New Exhibit Galleries
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.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 30, 2016 - The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that Pacific Studio of Seattle, Washington, a small business and a nationally recognized creator of exhibits, was awarded a $17.1-million fabrication contract for the Visitor Center Exhibits Project at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
This is part of the CityArchRiver $380 million public-private funded renovation. This contract is the final component for completing the new Museum at the Gateway Arch by adding new exhibits that will provide an engaging, interactive museum experience. Pacific Studio has done other projects in the St. Louis area, including the National Blues Museum, Saint Louis Zoo and the Saint Louis Science Center.
Several new exhibit galleries will be created, which will take visitors back in time to explore multiple perspectives of Thomas Jefferson's vision of a continental nation, the role of St. Louis as the gateway to westward expansion during the 19th century, and the legacy and heritage of individuals and cultural groups who played significant roles. Visitors will also get a close-up look at the history of the construction of the iconic Gateway Arch and the architects, engineers and builders who made it happen.
The exhibits will showcase illustrated historical narratives, primary source documents, historical art and artifacts. An assortment of multimedia exhibits will allow visitors to view large-screen video re-enactments of the Lewis and Clark expedition, participate in simulated electronic journeys west, and learn about colonial history with animated maps and timelines. The exhibits were designed by Haley Sharpe Design with multimedia design provided by Aperture Films.
The design of the exhibits has been completed to meet the standards of Universal Design, so that the environment can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.
Tram Rides at the Gateway Arch Temporarily Suspended
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 30, 2016 - Journey to the Top tram rides at the Gateway Arch have been temporarily suspended to replace the motor generator sets and upgrade the tram's electrical system.
The Visitor Center, The Arch Store, Monument to the Dream documentary film and riverfront via the Arch Grand Staircase will remain available to visitors. Tram rides will resume in spring 2017.
"During this time, visitors can experience the Arch in a variety of ways," said Rhonda Schier, Chief of Museum Services and Interpretation at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. "Inside the Visitor Center, they can learn about the history of the Arch from National Park Service rangers; shop for westward expansion and Arch-related merchandise at The Arch Store; and watch the newly digitized and restored award-winning documentary movie Monument to the Dream at no charge, which chronicles the construction of the Gateway Arch."
The Old Courthouse will continue to operate normally and offers museum exhibits as well as interpretive programming. "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; restored original courtrooms; and an exhibit focused on Dred and Harriet Scott," said Schier. "Visitors can also participate in living history events with mock trials in the Old Courthouse's restored courtrooms."
Winterfest at the Arch
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 16, 2016 - The St. Louis Blues and CityArchRiver Foundation have teamed up to bring an ice rink to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial during an exciting time in downtown St. Louis.
Winterfest at the Arch will kick-off on December 27 with the opening of the ice rink in Luther Ely Smith Square, between the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse. The rink will remain open until January 8 with many activities scheduled in between.
"We're excited to partner with CityArchRiver Foundation to bring hockey and skating under St. Louis' defining symbol to the world." said Chris Zimmerman, president and CEO of business operations for the St. Louis Blues. "This is a great opportunity for us to extend the energy of the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic to the Arch and the city."
"This is an amazing partnership with the Blues to make the Arch grounds buzz this winter," said Eric Moraczewski, executive director of CityArchRiver Foundation. "We're thankful to our partners at the National Park Service for the opportunity to bring this unique experience to visitors and residents of the St. Louis region."
Winterfest adds to the exciting events that will bring thousands downtown this holiday season. Winterfest will include an opening night celebration, Try Hockey for Free clinics and a street hockey tournament hosted by the Blues, whiskey tasting, New Year's Eve family-friendly celebration, and of course skating every day of Winterfest. Skates will be available for rent on-site.
The skating rink will be made of synthetic ice, a unique material that replicates the feeling of skating on real ice. Visitors can use real skates on the 46 ft. x 92 ft. rink. The rink's location in the newly renovated Luther Ely Smith Square highlights a completed portion of the $380 million CityArchRiver project, which is renovating the Arch grounds and surroundings. Many portions of the project are complete with the full project scheduled to be finished in late 2017.
"Due to the ongoing construction this winter at the Arch we have a great one-time opportunity to host a skating rink in the park," said Mike Ward, superintendent of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. "We hope that everyone enjoys this fun and healthy outdoor activity."
Additional events as part of Winter Fest at the Arch will be announced in the coming weeks.
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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