St. Louis on the Mississippi river by night. Copyright © Daniel Schwen. Image used under Creative Commons 2.5 License.

The Gateway Arch, or Gateway to the West, is an arch that is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri.  It was built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States.  At 630 feet, it is the tallest man-made monument in the United States, Missouri’s tallest accessible building, and the largest architectural structure designed as a weighted or flattened catenary arch.  The arch is located at the site of St. Louis’ foundation, on the west bank of the Mississippi River where Pierre Laclède in 1764 told his aide, Auguste Chouteau, to build a city.  The Gateway Arch was designed by Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947.  Construction began in 1963, ended in 1965, and the arch opened to the public in 1967.  The arch cost US$13 million to build (approximately $90,500,000 today).  (Source: Wikipedia, Image: Daniel Schwen)

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