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Nearly Half of Readers Disappointed With The Amount of CityArchRiver Work Completed to Date, More 50th Anniversary Events Today

October 28, 2015 Downtown, Events/Meetings, Featured, History/Preservation 3 Comments

Fifty years ago today the final section of the Arch was lowered into place. Today’s date was a big deal to organizers of the CityArchRiver design competition and for a long time they said all the work to actually connect the Arch grounds to the city would be done. Many of us were highly skeptical of these claims, but I didn’t want to burst their civic bubble.

Luther Ely Smith Square is finished. He's the guy that helped get 40 city blocks of the original city razed.
Luther Ely Smith Square is finished. He’s the guy that helped get 40 city blocks of the original city razed. Click image to open his Wikipedia entry

Here are the results from the Sunday Poll:

Q: Please rate the amount of CityArchRiver work completed to date

  1. Somewhat dissatisfied 11 [36.67%]
  2. Somewhat satisfied 6 [20%]
  3. Neutral 4 [13.33%]
  4. Very satisfied 3 [10%]
  5. Very dissatisfied 3 [10%]
  6. Unsure/No Answer 3 [10%]

Depending upon my mood I’m either neutral or somewhat satisfied.

Impressive fireworks show Saturday night to conclude Arch 50 Fest
Impressive fireworks show Saturday night to conclude Arch 50 Fest

Of course, I had low expectations.

There are numerous events today:

Recognition Ceremony and Birthday Party – Wednesday, October 28, 11 am

At 11 am—the moment when the final piece of the Gateway Arch was put into place 50 years ago—National Park Service leadership, along with local officials and partner dignitaries, will lead a special recognition ceremony commemorating the completion of the Arch on the Fourth Street side of the Old Courthouse.

Free Cupcakes! 

From 11:30am – 1:30pm, Sarah’s Cake Stop & Destination Desserts cupcake trucks will distribute free 50th anniversary-themed cupcakes to the first 1,000 visitors. The trucks will be located on 4th street on the east side of the Old Courthouse (11 North 4th Street). 

$1 Journey to the Top Tram Rides – October 28, all day

For one day only, Journey to the Top tram ride tickets will be sold at the original price of $1. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Old Courthouse, online at http://ticketsforthearch.com or by calling 877-982-1410.

Visitors to the top will receive:

  • A “Top of the Arch” lapel button modeled after one that was originally distributed when the trams opened in 1967.
  • An “I Went to the Top” certificate, similar to the certificate handed out to riders in the 1960s.

Limited-edition 50th Anniversary Merchandise

Custom-designed 50th anniversary items—including hats, shirts, jackets, mugs, coasters, and more—are available for purchase in the Museum Store located under the Gateway Arch, the Old Courthouse Gift Shop, and online at www.shop.jnpa.com.

Partners and sponsors of these events include the National Park Service, Bi-State Development , Jefferson National Parks Association, City of St. Louis, and the Missouri History Museum.


— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Fozzie says:

    No post about about the Arch grounds is complete without you or a reader taking a swipe at the fact that dilapidated firetraps were demolished to make way for the project. These buildings were not going to be renovated into lofts or apartments, and there was no demand for any of them.

    The original city dates back to the late-1700’s, not the mid- or late-1800’s. Stop applying 21st Century ideals to a early 20th Century mindset.

    Go read today’s P-D editorial about the wonderful audacity of a project of this scale.

    On second thought, never mind. Some of you just refuse to get it. Stick to bellyaching about the width of crosswalks.

  2. Mark-AL says:

    In college, I took a class that essentially concentrated only on the Arch’s foundations and structure. If I recall, the foundations extend +50′ below grade. Given the Arch’s proximity to the Mississippi and all the resulting geohydraulic conditions, imagine the de-watering challenges. And I found it interesting that the arch was built using hollow triangular pre-fabricated “structural sections”, with poured-in-place perimeter concrete infill that varied between 8′ thick to less than 9″, depending on proximity to grade, and without internal structure of any kind. It was my first exposure to vertical post-tensioned concrete, too. It is definitely a noteworthy monument of which St Louis can and should be very proud, but beyond that, it stands as an engineering model that will be studied in college classrooms around the world for who knows how long!


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