In 1803, the United States territory did not extend past the Mississippi River until Thomas Jefferson oversaw the acquisition of an enormous amount of land (almost one million square miles) known as the Louisiana Purchase. He then commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to set forth from St. Louis and head west into the wild unknown. They were instructed to explore and map out a route to the farthest western point, establish trade with tribes of Native Americans and study plant and animal life along the way.
Photo: Missouri State Archives
Yes, the Arch is tall. It happens to be the tallest man-made national monument in the United States. In fact, it’s the tallest arch in the world, standing at an impressive 630 feet tall. Travel to the top inside the Arch and experience breathtaking views that let you see up to 30 miles away on a clear day – with the winding Mississippi River on one side and downtown St. Louis on the other.
Massive renovations to the Arch Grounds began in the summer of 2014 and were completed in July 2018. The $350 million makeover puts this destination as one of the most anticipated “must see” attractions in the Midwest and beyond. The riverfront area was reconstructed for easier access between the Arch and the riverboats for both pedestrians and cyclists. The park was extended over the highway so that you can walk easily from the Arch to the Old Courthouse. In July of 2018, the new Museum at the Gateway Arch opened and features interactive exhibits telling stories about the colonial 1600s through present day.
Go West, young man, go West
and grow up with the country.
– Horace Greeley