Gateway Arch National Park, formerly known as Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, captures the historical presence of the St. Louis' Old Courthouse where the Dred Scott case was held.
Gateway Arch National Monument (known as Jefferson National Expansion Memorial until 2018) 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.
Stay inspired—sign up for our emails, learn how to become a member, and follow us on social media to get the latest park stories.