The Gateway Arch - The Gateway to the West
The Gateway Arch is probably the most easily identifiable monument in the United States. Often called "The Gateway to the West," The Gateway Arch includes a 70,000 sq foot underground Visitors Center with office space, museums, theaters, a waiting area for the tram, and maintenance rooms. The Visitors Center was delayed nine years after the inauguration of the arch due to lack of funding.The overall cost of The Gateway Arch is 13 million dollars when construction ended in 1965. The volume of building materials - like concrete, steel, and stainless steel - needed to complete the project is truly astonishing:
"The structure weighs 42,878 short tons (38,898 t), of which concrete composes 25,980 short tons (23,570 t); structural steel interior, 2,157 short tons (1,957 t); and the stainless steel panels that cover the exterior of the arch, 886 short tons (804 t)." (source)
Even to this day, The Gateway Arch used more stainless steel than any other building; however, that is only one of the things that makes it an amazing feat of construction. Because each of the legs of the arch was constructed at the same time with the goal of meeting in the middle to finish the arch, the engineering accuracy and variance had to remain at 1⁄64 inch. Any more or less - and The Gateway Arch would not have lined up at the top.
Currently, there is a tram that takes visitors up to the observation deck to see the view from the top of the arch. It is an easy 45-minute tram trip to the top of The Gateway Arch observation deck, but the space is compact and limited due to the shape of the arch. Standing on the bank of the Mississippi river in St. Louis, The Gateway Arch is on 82-acres currently listed as a national park.
Find out more about The Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
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