Saturday, October 25, 2008

Baltimore Skyline Roadtrip - St. Louis

The joy of travelling to different places, especially those you have never been to, is taking the time to take in the local attractions. So, when I found myself in St. Louis for work, I decided to check out the one thing that comes to mind when someone says St. Louis (no, not Busch Stadium) the Gateway Arch!

Nothing says "Celebration of Western Expansion" like a giant, stainless steel arch. I think it would be more impressive if it spanned the Mississippi, but it is a striking feat of engineering. It was designed by Finnish architectural genius Eero Saarinen in 1947, the same man who brought us the terminal at Dulles Airport and TWA's at JFK. The man really knew how to make steel and concrete curve gracefully. A large inverted catenary curve, it is 630 feet at its keystone piece, and 630 feet across at it's base. Two trams take passengers up either leg to the observation deck at the top. It was completed in 1965 after two years of construction.

The Arch is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial which opened in 1935. It sits mainly on the old portion of St. Louis, which by the early 1930s was so decrepit (not to mention too close to the flood prone Mississippi) that the buildings were torn down and replaced with a grand park. Nearby is the Old Court House, which saw the beginnings of the Dred Scott case in 1847 and 1850, which eventually led to the famous Supreme Court case in 1857.

Here at Baltimore Skyline, we do enjoy not only the architecture of our city, but those unique things we find all over, so we'll continue to bring you some great stuff from all over.

Hope you're enjoying your wet and windy Saturday night!

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