Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial consists of the Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion, and St. Louis' Old Courthouse. During a nationwide competition in 1947-48, architect Eero Saarinen's inspired design for a 630 foot stainless steel arch was chosen as a perfect monument to the spirit of the western pioneers. Construction of the Arch began in 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965, for a total cost of less than $15 million. The Arch has foundations sunk 60 feet into the ground, and is built to withstand earthquakes and high winds. It sways up to one inch in a 20 mph wind, and is built to sway up to 18 inches.

The Museum of Westward Expansion, located below the Arch, is as large as a football field and contains an extensive collection of artifacts, mounted animal specimens, an authentic American Indian tipi, and an overview of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Located just two blocks west of the Arch, the Old Courthouse is one of the oldest standing buildings in St. Louis, begun in 1839. It was here that the first two trials of the Dred Scott case were held in 1847 and 1850. Today, the building houses a museum charting the history of the city of St. Louis and restored courtrooms.

 

Today In Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

Shared Videos


  • From NPF

  • From NPF

  • From NPF
Share Your Video

Photos from Park Visitors

  • From Shawn in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
    From Shawn
  • From Shawn in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
    From Shawn
  • rachelle in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial to History and Culture in Parks Photo
    From rachelle
  • rachelle in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial to History and Culture in Parks Photo
    From rachelle
  • Kristi in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial to Fun in the Parks Photo
    From Kristi
  • Patricia in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial to Landscape Photo
    From Patricia

Travel Ideas

Join the National Park Foundation

With all 401 national park sites currently closed because of the government shutdown, there is no better time to show your support. Join the national park community now.

Support Your Parks