Gateway Arch National Park was created in 1935, and became part of the National Park Service, in 2018 this year a new museum has opened beneath the grounds of the arch.
Civic leader Luther Ely Smith conceived the idea of building a memorial to help revive the riverfront and memorialize the story of the nation’s westward expansion. Through a nationwide design competition conducted 1947–1948, Eero Saarinen’s stainless steel Arch was chosen as the memorial that would celebrate the accomplishments of early pioneers. St. Louis celebrated with a groundbreaking on June 23, 1959.
‘To me the drawn language is a very revealing language: one can see in a few lines whether a man is really an architect.’
Over the next few years, Saarinen perfected his design and workers began excavating the grounds in 1961.