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The history of the park dates back to the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1804. On what became known as Three Flag Day, on March 9 Spain ceded control of the territory to France, and on the next day, France ceded control of the territory to the United States. That opened up the ability to explore the territory, which started with the Lewis and Clark Expedition which began in May 1804 at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, just north of the location of the current park.
For over 100 years, St. Louis was known as “the west”, even though today it rests squarely in the middle of the country. Up until 1957, St. Louis was the westernmost city to have a major league baseball team.
The idea of creating a monument to the westward expansion of the United States began with St. Louis businessmen in the 1930s. The design for the monument was completed in 1947 by architect Eero Saarinen. Construction began 16 years later in March 1963, was completed in October 1965, and it was finally opened to the public in June 1967.
The National Park Service has been involved in the management of the arch since day one.
In 2018, coinciding with the reopening after renovations, the name was changed from the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial to Gateway Arch National Park.
The Old Courthouse, which is part of the park, is best known as the territorial courthouse where the Dread Scott decision was first rendered before it went to the Supreme Court.
How iconic actor James Dean will star in the latest Vietnam War movie
Posted On April 29, 2020 15:57:58
If silver screen legend James Dean hadn’t died in a 1955 car accident, he would be 88 years old, much too old to portray a Vietnam War-era soldier in the upcoming film Finding Jack. But he did die in that car crash, and he’s not actually being resurrected to star in the new movie – but his image and likeness are.
Set against the background of the Vietnam War, Finding Jack is about Fletcher Carson, a volunteer troop in the U.S. Army who lost his family and his will to live back home. He joins, hoping to lose his life in combat. Instead, he gains a Labrador Retriever who helps nurse him back to physical and emotional health. When it comes time for the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, the dogs are declared surplus equipment and are destined to be left behind. Carson, like many troops, wasn’t willing to part with his new battle buddy.
The story is based on the real events surrounding the withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam. The Nixon Administration really implemented this policy as a cost-saving measure. Thousands of military working dogs who helped American forces in the Vietnam War really were left behind at war’s end, their fate (like many Americans, POWs, and MIAs) would forever be unknown.
An estimated 10,000 dogs were left behind in Vietnam.
The legendary actor, who originally died at age 24, has been cast in the film adaptation of the book. The production company producing the film got the permission of his family before casting the star of Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden. Dean will star as a secondary character named Rogan in the film.
“We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extreme complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean,” Anton Ernst, one of the directors, told The Hollywood Reporter.
While Finding Jack will be a live-action film, James Dean will be reproduced through the use of computers, using actual footage and photos. His voice will be dubbed by another actor. So far, Dean is the only known cast member of the film.
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A look inside St. Louis Gateway Arch's $380 million makeover
On July 3, the new museum at St. Louis' iconic Gateway Arch opened to the public, the culmination of a multi-million dollar campaign to unify the city and update one of the nation's most recognizable man-made landmarks.
The imposing 630-foot-tall concrete and stainless-steel structure towers over the St. Louis riverfront, and commemorates Thomas Jefferson and the role St. Louis played in the westward expansion of the United States.
Completed in 1965, the arch offers tram rides to a viewing platform at its top. Now, after $380 million worth of upgrades, the park land around the monument and the underground museum below it are being readied for visitors. Recently, CNBC got a preview of the upgraded ground-level Gateway Arch experience.
The new museum and visitor center will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 3 as part of Fair St. Louis, a July 4 th celebration dubbed "America's Biggest Birthday Party."
City officials expect attendance at Gateway Arch National Park to increase significantly once the museum and visitor center re-open. "What's more," said Brian Hall, Chief Marketing Officer, Explore St. Louis, "The improvements to the park capture the excitement and transformation our community is experiencing, including several new hotels and new tourism developments," Brian Hall, Explore St. Louis' chief marketing officer, told CNBC in an interview.
The arch has an 8-car tram ride that brings visitors (five per car) to a small observation room at the top of the structure. It remains unchanged, but the way visitors will experience the Gateway Arch Park has been transformed.
"You don't change a masterpiece," said Eric Moraczewski, executive director of the Gateway Arch Park Foundation. "What we've done is renovate about 100 acres of park space, added 46,000 square feet of museum space, a café and raised the riverfront about 30 inches to prevent flooding," he explained to CNBC recently. "We also built a land bridge over Interstate 44 to make the park more accessible to visitors."
When the free museum inside the Gateway Arch reopens on July 3, visitors will see some old favorites, such as the statue of Thomas Jefferson. There are also new artifacts, including a resin version of a much-loved taxidermy buffalo that was showing too much wear and tear.
The new museum has six galleries, including "Colonial St. Louis," explores the founding of St. Louis and the indigenous and Creole culture before the Louisiana Purchase "Jefferson's Vision," which documents how St. Louis shaped the West and "Manifest Destiny," which follows the trails, the settlers and the conflicts for those heading west.
Galleries like "The Riverfront Era" and New Frontiers" illustrate the history of steamboats, railroads and other industrial western powerhouse industries.
The "Riverfront Era" gallery features a façade made with stones from the Old Rock House, a structure built as a warehouse in 1818 that was demolished to make way for the construction of the arch.
"The history preservation team for National Park Service kept the stones, carefully stored them and was able to reuse them. Now you walk into the museum through the stones of the Old Rock House," said Moraczewski.
The Riverfront Levee exhibit will be a 5-block scale model of what the downtown St. Louis Mississippi riverfront looked like in 1852. It will include a diorama depicting buildings, people, livestock, cargo and steamboats.
"Park historians did a lot of research for this gallery," said Moraczewski told CNBC. "They did things like pull insurance records to make sure each building in the model was the right color and had the correct number of floors."
A new feature in the tram lobby will offer visitors on the ground a live webcam stream of the view from the observation space at the top of the Arch. The webcam will give those waiting a preview of what they'll see. It also makes the view accessible to people who use wheelchairs, visitors afraid of heights, and others who choose not to purchase a ticket to the top.
Poem by Sir John Betjeman
How beautiful the London air, how calm and unalarming This height above the archway where the prospects round are charming. Oh come and take a stroll with me and do not fear to stumble. Great Cumberland, your place I see, I hear your traffic rumble. See Oxford Street on my left hand, a chasm full of shopping. Below us traffic lights command the starting and the stopping. And on my right the spacious park, so infinitely spacious, So pleasant when it isn’t dark but when it is - good gracious! What carriages below these skies came rolling by on Mondays. What church parades would greet the eyes here in Hyde Park on Sundays. And trodden by unheeding feet a spot which memory hallows: Where Edgware Road meets Oxford Street stood Tyburn’s fearsome gallows. What martydoms this place has seen, what deeds much better undone. Yet still the greatest crime has been the martyrdom of London. For here where once were pleasant fields and no one in a hurry Behold the harvest Mammon yields of speed and greed and worry. The rights of man, the rights of cash, the left, the right, the centre Come on, let’s off and make a dash, and meet it where we enter The road that no-one looks upon, except as birds of passage: Oh Edgware Road be our abode, and let us hear your message.
Where Edgware Road meets Oxford Street stood Tyburn’s fearsome gallows. What martydoms this place has seen, what deeds much better undone. Yet still the greatest crime has been the martyrdom of London. For here where once were pleasant fields and no one in a hurry Behold the harvest Mammon yields of speed and greed and worry. The rights of man, the rights of cash, the left, the right, the centre Come on, let’s off and make a dash, and meet it where we enter The road that no-one looks upon, except as birds of passage: Oh Edgware Road be our abode, and let us hear your message.
Gateway Arch National Park
The Gateway Arch National Park (formerly Jefferson National Expansion Memorial) is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. It is bookended by two nationally significant monuments: the world-renowned Gateway Arch and the equally important Old Courthouse. As its prior name suggests, the 90-acre national park is a memorial to President Thomas Jefferson's role in opening the American West to the pioneers who helped shape its history, and to the slave Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse.
The soaring 630-foot stainless steel Arch at the center of the park is the nation's tallest national monument. It was designed by architect Eero Saarinen and completed in 1968. Visitors can explore the stunning structure on numerous levels: underground in the park's subterranean Visitor Center, above ground on the banks of the Mississippi, and high in the air from the viewing deck at the top of the Arch, accessed by a short tram ride inside the legs of the structure. The Visitor Center was renovated and greatly expanded in 2018. It features a new museum that interprets the nation's westward expansion, St. Louis' early history, and the design and construction of the Gateway Arch. Highlights include an extensive collection of artifacts from the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Two blocks west of the Arch is the 1839-era Old Courthouse, one of the oldest standing buildings in St. Louis. 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, restored courtrooms and offices for National Park Service staff.
What JNPA Does Here
Through the operation of two stores &ndash one at the Gateway Arch and one at the Old Courthouse &ndash JNPA generates revenue that helps ensure a rich educational experience for the millions of annual visitors who come to this park.
The products we sell at The Arch Store commemorate the history of the nation&rsquos westward expansion, the early days of St. Louis, and the design and construction of the Gateway Arch. At the Old Courthouse Gift Shop, we offer products related to one of the most important court cases in America&rsquos civil rights history, the Dred Scott case.
The proceeds from these stores help maintain and enhance a wide variety of educational programs, exhibits and public events at the park. Here is a sample of our contributions:
6. $30 million USD was needed, much less was raised
The JNMAE committee had estimated that an astounding $30 million USD would be needed for erecting a huge monument. This was an incredible sum in the 1930s during the Great Depression.
Unsurprisingly, they were unable to get that kind of money together, but they did get funding from Executive Order 7253 signed by President Roosevelt on December 21, 1935.
With this signature, the monument was both approved and partially funded with a total of $6.75 million USD plus $2.25 million worth of city bonds.
Destination: The St. Louis Gateway Arch and Blues History – February 29, 2020
The Gateway Arch is an iconic U.S. landmark. It’s the symbol of American migration West and also the city of St. Louis is considered the center of Ragtime music, which heavily influenced the blues. On our show, we explored both of these intriguing stories that makes St. Louis a top destination for music and history.
We were interested in more information about the reasons St. Louis was selected to be the city for commemorating the American Westward journey. The Gateway arch is very strategically placed in a spot to capture and highlight the history of both the city and the westward migration.
If you have ever wanted to know more details about the people who built the monument, we talk with two men who were in their early twenties, working on the construction of the arch. Carroll Allison and Ted “Lefty” Imbierowicz share stories of what it was like to work on such an iconic structure.
We wanted to gather as much history about St. Louis and how it became the center of transportation and commerce moving West. We asked Bob Moore, National Park Service Gateway Arch historian, to share the history and behind-the-scenes stories of this beloved city.
Take a listen to our show and hear the fascinating stories of the great city of St. Louis and the magnificent Gateway Arch.
Standing under the arch is an awe-inspiring experience. You can feel the size and scope of the structure.
Take a ride to the top for a spectacular view of the city
The view from the top!
View from the top!
Inside the Gateway Arch. Our guest Carroll may have drilled one of the bolts you can see in the photo.
An up close view of the bolts inside the arch. The Gateway Arch museum shares the story of building the arch.
St. Louis is also known for music. And, Swing music calls St. Louis home. A visit to the National Blues Museum should be top of your list. Learn about the music, artists and how St. Louis became a central location for this iconic music. Learn about how The Blues continues to impact music today.
History of the Roosevelt Arch: 10 Fascinating Facts
It is doubtful that today’s Park Service would approve the building of an expensive structure that is purely decorative in nature. But when the Roosevelt Arch was conceived, Gardiner was the most important gateway to Yellowstone—the first park and a jewel in the national park crown.
The Roosevelt Arch, built in the park’s Army era, is said to have been the idea of Hiram M. Chittenden of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He felt that the approach to the park was barren and lacked suitable grandeur. Park administrators and townspeople agreed, and plans commenced for a grand new entryway to Yellowstone.
In 1903, the partially constructed arch was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt, who laid the cornerstone at a ceremony that drew thousands of guests, and much fanfare.
Here are ten more fun and interesting facts about the history of the Roosevelt Arch:
1. The designer of the Roosevelt Arch remains a mystery. Both Robert Reamer—most famous for designing the Old Faithful Inn—and architect Nels J. Ness have been credited, but modern historians say that documentation is inadequate to know for sure.
2. To construct the Arch, hundreds of tons of native columnar basalt were hauled from a quarry in the area. The completed Arch rises 50 feet high, and can still be seen from miles away.
3. Construction of the Arch took around six months, and cost about $10,000. Today that sum would equal around $250,000.
4. Original plans called for the curved walls on either side of the Arch to surround a landscaped garden, two ponds, and a waterfall. However, this plan proved impossible due to Gardiner’s arid climate.
5. The Arch was not originally intended to honor Roosevelt, but was so named because the president happened to be vacationing in the park during the Arch’s construction, and was asked to speak at the dedication ceremony.
6. A “canister,” which we now call a time capsule, was arranged by local Masons and placed inside the Arch during the dedication ceremony. It reportedly contains a Bible, a picture of Roosevelt, Masonic documents, local newspapers, U.S. coins, and other items.
7. The plaque on the Arch is inscribed with a phrase from the 1872 legislation that established Yellowstone National Park: “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.”
8. The North Entrance Road Historic District, which includes the Roosevelt Arch, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
9. If you look closely you can spot the Arch’s cornerstone. As you enter the Arch from the Gardiner side, the stone is low on the inside (park side) corner of the right tower. It is more squarely finished than the stones around it, and the surface facing the inside of the Arch is engraved “Apr 24 1903.”
10. After the dedication, Theodore Roosevelt never returned to Yellowstone, so he never visited the completed Arch.
Learn More About the Roosevelt Arch:
By Christine Gianas Weinheimer
Photographs: Haynes Postcard of the Roosevelt Arch – NPS President Roosevelt at the Arch dedication – NPS Roosevelt Arch cornerstone – Matt Ludin/Yellowstone Forever