Today, after about a year of absence and distant hand wavings from across the road across the river, I visited the Gateway Arch again. It’s been a while. The Arch – a monument to dreams, as it was tagged when it was opened in 1968 – lay as enticing as it has always been from a distance, shining in the sun. The trip to the top took four minutes in a little tram that seats only five people. The trip downwards took three minutes. The monument 630ft tall retained its grandeur and charm as a symbol of possibilities, and a landmark to living history.
The Museum of Westward Expansion at the basement of the Arch itself didn’t disappoint, along with a 35 minutes movie presentation about how the structure was inspired, conceptualized, designed and constructed. Since 1968 when it was opened, it has remained a beacon – the tallest monument in the country. Still standing, still charming, still inspiring. If you ever find yourself in St. Louis, do check it out. A new regulation however is that, before entering the structure, you had to go through a series of checks, body scans and searches. And for good reason too.
I won’t trust the safety of such an important monument to just the pureness of heart of the rest of humanity either.