A Look Inside St. Louis Gateway Arch’s $380M Makeover

By on March 13, 2018

From CNBC:  On July 3, the new museum at St. Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch will open, the culmination of a multi-million dollar campaign to unify the city and update one of the nation’s most recognizable man-made landmarks.

The imposing 630-foot-tall concrete and stainless-steel structure towers over the St. Louis riverfront, and commemorates Thomas Jefferson and the role St. Louis played in the westward expansion of the United States.

Completed in 1965, the arch offers tram rides to a viewing platform at its top. Now, after $380 million worth of upgrades, the park land around the monument and the underground museum below it are being readied for visitors. Recently, CNBC got a preview of the upgraded ground-level Gateway Arch experience.

The new museum and visitor center will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 3 as part of Fair St. Louis, a July 4th celebration dubbed “America’s Biggest Birthday Party.”

City officials expect attendance at Gateway Arch National Park to increase significantly once the museum and visitor center re-open. “What’s more,” said Brian Hall, Chief Marketing Officer, Explore St. Louis, “The improvements to the park capture the excitement and transformation our community is experiencing, including several new hotels and new tourism developments,” Brian Hall, Explore St. Louis’ chief marketing officer, told CNBC in an interview.

The arch and the tram ride brings 5 visitors at a time to a small observation room at the top of the structure. It remains unchanged, but the way visitors will experience the Gateway Arch Park has been transformed.

“You don’t change a masterpiece,” said Eric Moraczewski, executive director of the Gateway Arch Park Foundation. “What we’ve done is renovate about 100 acres of park space, added 46,000 square feet of museum space, a café and raised the riverfront about 30 inches to prevent flooding,” he explained to CNBC recently. “We also built a land bridge over Interstate 44 to make the park more accessible to visitors.”

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