Gateway to the West
The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis' role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The park is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson's role in opening the West, to the pioneers who helped shape its history, and to Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse. Gateway Arch National Park is located in St. Louis, Missouri, near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The memorial was established to commemorate:
- the Louisiana Purchase and subsequent westward movement of American explorers and pioneers
- the first civil government west of the Mississippi River
- the debate over slavery raised by the Dred Scott case
The national park consists of the Gateway Arch, a steel catenary arch that has become the definitive icon of St. Louis, a 91-acre park along the Mississippi River on the site of the earliest buildings of the city, the Old Courthouse (a former state and federal courthouse where the Dred Scott case originated) and the 140,000 sq ft museum at the Gateway Arch.
The immediate surroundings of the Gateway Arch were initially designated the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial by executive order on December 21, 1935. The Gateway Arch was completed on October 28, 1965 and the area surrounding it was redesignated as the "Gateway Arch National Park" on February 22, 2018.
Rob Decker is a photographer and graphic artist with a single passion for America's National Parks. Now he's on a journey to visit, photograph and create iconic WPA-style artwork for each of America's national parks.
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