Finally I’ve reached my last installment of posts on this weekend spent gallivanting around St. Louis!
Last Sunday morning, following our Grand Adventure on Saturday, My Roommate Jamie and I woke up in the wee hours of the morning (as in 9 AM, but we’re on college time sooo…) to make one last trip downtown and go up the Gateway Arch like we had originally intended.
Luckily, the weather was just as beautiful as it was the day before. It was like we just picked up from where we left off Saturday afternoon walking around the Arch.
To reach the top, we had to first enter a subterranean universe inhabited by a commercialized society of peoples running ticket booths, gift shops, movie theaters, and the Museum of Westward Expansion. Also this bear:
Then we elected to take a guided tour (though this is optional–you can choose to just go straight up if you wish) to learn more about the Arch’s construction and significance to the St. Louis community.
Plus I’m a sucker for cool diagrams:
Here’s a basic summary of what I learned: the Gateway Arch, which was built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, stands at 630 feet as the tallest man-made monument in the United States and the largest architectural structure designed as a catenary arch in the world.
The Arch was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen in 1947, who unfortunately did not live to see it completed. Construction on the structure began on February 12, 1963, and ended on October 28, 1965, finally opening to the public on June 10, 1967.
Having packed our heads with information, we headed downstairs for the moment of truth. We waited in a landing zone for further instructions…
…and suddenly the chamber doors hissed open, revealing a small pod structure that I guess they wanted us to enter in order to ride to the top. I was a little taken aback–they expected us go up in this?
But go up in it we did, and we had a pretty good time doing so.
Besides, it beats climbing up 1076 steps to reach the top…
Once we got all the way up, we found a huge crowd of people fighting to look through the funky windows they had oriented on the sides of the arch (for added stability, apparently).
But I finally had my turn, too. And once I got to those windows, you know it was non-stop camera time taking photos of the views overlooking the east and west sides of the Mississippi.
Here’s what the east looks like:
And the west:
(Close-up of Busch Stadium)
And even right underneath the Arch! We could still spot our car from 630 feet up (it’s the silver one in the center row).
These photos were all taken from the tallest point on the Arch, as evidenced in this photo with me and My Roommate Jamie. (The matching WashU t-shirts were completely unintentional by the way, in case you were wondering.)
…going all the way to the bottom this time so we could be in car number one! Woooooooo
(not that it really makes a difference, but anyway).
And thus we concluded our long-awaited adventure to the Arch and our fun-filled Easter weekend with the fam, which I now pretend is/refer to as my own. The rest of the day was unfortunately spent doing homework and adjusting to a world where there exist obligations other than adventuring and eating.
Thank you, Missouri, for treating us to another wonderful day in the sun. We’ll be back the second that I am finished with all these pesky papers…see you soon.