The highlight of a visit to Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a ride To The Top of the 630-foot Gateway Arch, for a panoramic view of the surrounding area. But beside commenting on the cramped nature of the little capsules that carry them to the top, or wondering about the strange clicking noises they hear as the capsules lurch to keep them upright, visitors ask relatively few questions about the tram system. This is a testament to the durability and uniqueness of the trams, since they are a one-of-a-kind invention, conceived in just two short weeks by an amazing man who never received a college degree. His name is Dick Bowser, and in a 1986 letter he outlined the sequence of events which led up to his selection as designer of the tram system.
‘Being a college dropout was hardly a credential to qualify me to design the arch trains. However, I was also a second-generation elevator man with more than a fair share of guts.’
The Arch tram system he created is as unique and special as the Arch it services, one of the many amazing aspects of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It was built due to the vision of a creative and special man, one of the unique heroes in the story of the construction of the Gateway Arch.