VIDEO: Gateway Arch Hosts Builders’ Reunion, Film Screening

By on September 14, 2018

At 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, St. Louis musicians will gather in the new museum at Gateway Arch National Park for a special screening of the digitally restored Monument to the Dream, Charles Guggenheim’s esteemed documentary film about the building of the Arch. Also on Oct. 27, the National Park Service will host its annual Arch Builders’ Reunion to honor the many engineers, tradesmen and support staff who contributed to the construction of the Gateway Arch from 1963 to 1965.

The screening, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the film’s nomination for an Academy Award in the best “Documentary Short” category, will be accompanied by a live performance of its musical score, which was composed by Robert Wykes, professor emeritus of music at Washington University in St. Louis. The performance will draw together top local musicians under the baton of Darwin Aquino, who recently was appointed conductor of the Washington University Symphony Orchestra. The event also will feature a new concert arrangement of Wykes’s score for a second Guggenheim production, Time of the West, a documentary about 19th-century expansion west of the Mississippi.

“Viewing the Monument to a Dream documentary has become a much-loved tradition for visitors of the Gateway Arch,” says Eric Moraczewski, executive director of the Gateway Arch Park Foundation. “The film brings to life the awe-inspiring efforts of the tradespeople who brought the monument from vision to reality. Watching the documentary with a live orchestra will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The performance is presented by the National Park Service, in partnership with Washington University Department of Music in Arts & Sciences and the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, with the assistance of Guggenheim Productions, Inc.

Admission is free, but tickets are required for entrance. Limited upper-level seating is available on a first come, first served basis. To reserve, call 314.935.6543.

The Arch builders gathering, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the museum 10:30 a.m. to noon. Arch Builders will share memories and inspire current and future generations about the tenacity of their work ethic and their feats of engineering and craftsmanship that are showcased in the vintage footage of the film.Representatives of the retired ironmakers from the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company in Warren, PA will also attend this year’s reunion to mark the opening of the new museum, where photographs, mementos, audio exhibits, and text panels document the workers’ stories and their contributions to the project. The group fabricated the steel sections that were shipped by rail to become the building blocks of the monument.


Gateway Arch National Park does not have dedicated on-site parking. A list of downtown St. Louis parking locations within walking distance of Gateway Arch National Park is available at Metered street parking is also available around the park.


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