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"Missouri" United States of America Things to Do Tip by traveldave

United States of America Things to Do: 953 reviews and 1,331 photos


Nickname: Show Me State; Land Area: 68,898 square miles (178,400 square kilometers); Population: 5,988,927; Capital: Jefferson City; Largest City: Kansas City

The Gateway Arch is an iconic symbol of Saint Louis, and is recognizeable worldwide. It is made of stainless steel which shines and glimmers in the sunlight. The arch is the tallest structure in Saint Louis, and rises to a height of 630 feet (192 meters).

Because Saint Louis is the "Gateway to the West," city planners wanted to construct a monument to the spirit of the pioneers who departed from the city on their way west. A nationwide competition for the design of the monument was held in 1948. The soaring arch designed by Finnish architect, Eero Saarinen, was chosen as an appropriate monument to westward expansion.

Construction did not begin until 1963, but the project was completed only two years later, in 1965. Designed to last 1,000 years, the arch is anchored into the bedrock 60 feet (18 meters) into the ground, and is able to withstand high winds and earthquakes.

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  • Updated Jul 20, 2012
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