I must admit that I haven’t really given the St. Louis Arch much thought. I have been to St. Louis before, but it was always a passing through. We would fly in, then drive to our house in Illinois. We had also gone to the LDS Temple in St. Louis, but since we had a babysitter with the little ones at home, we didn’t stay around to sight see. Until this week, when we stayed two nights in St. Louis.
We followed the GPS downtown, although it sent us through the streets on a confusing goose chase. Come on, GPS.
But, since it happened to be the opening day of baseball season for the St. Louis Cardinals (did you realize they won the world series last year? They Did!), we got to see some of the celebratory parade and carnival, as well as the stadium.
We finally made it to the parking lot and walked over to the arch. It was just beginning to rain.
We should have taken more pictures there. Darn.
After purchasing our tickets, we had some time to explore the Museum of Westward expansion. It’s a pretty fun museum, but there are creepy automaton people talking and telling their stories.
The kids also did some fact finding to earn their junior ranger badges.
We watched a film about the making of the arch, and it was FASCINATING! Did you know….
* The Gateway Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States at 630 feet.
* Construction began February 12, 1963, and the last section of the Arch was put into place on October 28, 1965.
* The Arch weighs 17,246 tons. Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history.
* The Arch was built at a cost of $13 million.
*And did you know that not one worker lost his life in the making of this grand monument?
It’s insane! Who even thinks of building a HUGE arch 630 feet high, and then who decides that they can build it? It blows my mind. The project manager of MacDonald Construction Co., Stan Wolf, said that a 62-story building was easier to build than the arch: “In a building, everything is straight up, one thing on top of another. In this arch, everything is curved.”
And even more amazing is that people can GO UP to the TOP!!
You travel up to the top in these little pods. Each pod can seat 5 people.
The pods are constantly readjusting, because the ride is not straight up. It’s kind of like a ferris wheel.
If you’d like to see a video of the trip up (not MY trip up, but some random guy on youtube, you can see that here.)
At the top you can actually walk around in the enclosure and take pictures or look out the little windows. If you lean WAY over, you can see the base of the arch. I did not lean way over. I could barely lean into the window. Yes, I’m squeemish.
For me, it was not a pleasant or wonderful experience, but it was truly and AMAZING experience. I don’t like being up that high, nor do I like leaning way out to see the magnificent view, but, oh what a view.
Here’s our whole group up there in the very top.
When we came out of the monument building, it was POURING rain. No more pictures, sadly, as we dashed to the parking garage.
There were so many more things to do in St. Louis, and at least one other really cool museums we had kind of planned on seeing, but the kids were MUSEUMED OUT. It was almost 3 pm, they were hungry and tired, and didn’t want to walk around and see any more STUFF. We decided to find a Steak n Shake. Yum. In fact, many would say it was the best meal of the trip. It turns out it was happy hour, so we got a few shakes (well, more than a few) to go with our yummy hamburgers. Heaven. Wish we had one of these in Utah.
So, instead of exploring all that St. Louis had to offer or seeing one more fabulous museum, we went back to the hotel and the kids swam in the pool. They were quite happy with that decision.