Friday, August 27, 2010

Saint Louis Gateway Arch

Archway Gate, Saint Louis, taken 8/24/2010
On last Tuesday, August 24, George and I went to visit the Saint Louis Gateway Arch.  An imposing structure, the arch stands at 640 feet tall and 640 wide (at base).  According to beloved Wikipedia, the structure was designed in 1947 by Eero Saarinen, with the structural engineer being Hannskarl Bandel. The Arch's building did not commence until 1963 and was finally completed in 1967.   If you are interested in architecture, I am linking to a few articles on the internet regarding the Arch and it's creation.

Going up the arch is a bit .... well, a bit like a bad early 1970s horror flick, since the capsule you take is small, with almost no windows and bumpy.  Allowing room for 5 people, these small "bullet" capsules encourage you to make fast friends with the strangers you are riding up the arch with (or you can simply ignore your capsule mates like many folks do in normal elevators.  Look up, down, at your watch, your feel .... lalalalalalala - but I digress).

The cramped area of the capsule, combined with the small windows that allow you to see the inner workings,  makes you happy that you are only on a 4 minute ride going up (3 minutes going down).  Now I am not afraid of heights or of cramped places, but if I was - I would have left immediately.  It is not that it is an unpleasant ride, but it would be if I reflected upon the possibility of being stuck in this thing.  This happened, apparently, in 2007 when about 200 people were stuck in the arch (about 40 of those folks in the capsules).  You can read the Washington Post article on the event here

Regardless, that did not happen to us and we had a lovely time.  After getting to the top of the arch, George and I spend about 10 minutes looking around the beautiful view of Saint Louis Down Town and waterfront area. 

On our way back down, I wanted to take a video of what could be seen outside that small window!  The trip down took 3 minutes and 20 seconds all together.  So, here is the video of us going down from the top of the Gateway Arch - what you can see is the inside of the arch itself as we are lowered down - its rather creepy.

Note: it cost 10 dollars to to take the tram to the top of the arch and this cost does not include the films you can view about the making of the arch.

Gateway Arch. (2010, August 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:02, August 27, 2010, from

Gateway Arch Riverfront Home page.

NA.  (2003-2005).  "St. Louis Gateway Arch" in Enchanted Learning.  Retrieved August 27, 2010, from 

Hanks, Bill. (2007, Nov. 14).  "History of the St. Louis Gateway Arch."  in Associated Content.  Retrieved August 27, 2010, from

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