Pass under or tram over this actual “Gateway to the West” when you visit Missouri’s Gateway Arch. Hotels in the area provide restful accommodations after a day of “Show Me State” sightseeing. With many Choice Hotels near Gateway Arch to choose from, you’ll enjoy close proximity to this St. Louis landmark, in relaxing rooms with outstanding amenities.
The nation’s tallest monument stands at both 630 feet tall and 630 feet wide. It was built to commemorate Thomas Jefferson and St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States. It is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial which also consists of the Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion and St. Louis' Old Courthouse.
The result of a nationwide competition in 1947-1948 to design a monument in St. Louis honoring western pioneers was clinched by architect Eero Saarinen and his sleek creation of an inverted catenary. Construction began in 1963 at a cost about 13 million dollars. By 1965, the building was completed and by 1967, it was finally opened to the public after one of the trams was completed. The two bases are equilateral triangles with three 54 foot-long sides and at the top of the arch, the triangle is only 17 feet long on each side.
The arch’s foundation runs 60-feet underground and is built to withstand high winds and earthquakes. The structure sways about one inch in a 20 mph wind; it is designed to sway up to 18 inches in 150 mile per hour gusts.
Visitors enter the arch from an underground visitors’ center and can travel to the observation deck at the top in a 40-passenger tram that runs inside the arch. On a clear day you can see up to 30 miles with a stunning view of downtown St. Louis looking west and the Mississippi River and Illinois looking east. During the “Journey to the Top” tram tour which lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes, you can see and learn how the construction workers fitted together the final piece of the arch. Also housed within the monument are the Museum of Westward Expansion, educational programs and shops of interest.
Once you’ve spanned the arc for yourself, Choice Hotels near Gateway Arch make it easy for you to wind down in calm and peaceful accommodations. Book a room with us today.
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