Saturday, October 11, 2014


Tha Gateway Arch & self
Of late St. Louis has figured in the news for shooting of blacks by the local police. But, St. Louis is better known for its jazz and the Spirit of St. Louis. Famous for ragtime and blues in the genre of jazz music, the Spirit of St. Louis was the monoplane which Charles Lindberg flew from New York to Paris in the first ever flight across the Atlantic in 1927. Named after the sponsors of Lindberg in St. Louis, the city made an indelible contribution to the commencement of a glorious aviation history. But the city is also known for its exquisite Gateway Arch.

Commemorating the contributions of Thomas Jefferson and St.
The approach to the Arch
Louis in the westward expansion of the US, at 630 ft. it is the tallest monument of the country and the tallest arch of the world. Designed by Eero Sanninen it is clad in steel and was commissioned in 1967. Hollow inside, the arch has a unique tram system that takes visitors to the top. An observation deck accommodating 160 people affords views of the Mississippi River in the east, St. Louis and the country around it in the west and southern Illinois in the north.

The Arch and the Mississippi
A report sometime back indicated the mid 20th Century structure was at risk due to progressive corrosion to set right which is a challenge due to its height and design. Corrosion has been noticed for quite some time but efforts to deal with it has been lacking. The New York based World Monuments Fund has now put it in its Watch List indicating that the monument is included in the list of most endangered monuments. The inclusion may help in the flow of funds to fix the problems of the Arch.

Bandana, my wife in my sister's garden
In 1998 my wife and I were in the US. St. Louis was the first major city we happened to visit, being close to Edwardsville in Illinois where my sister used to live. Her house had idyllic grounds around the house and we had a very enjoyable and relaxing three weeks with her. It was possible to visit St. Louis in a day-trip. After all, its airport is the one which Edwardsville people use. Hence, we did it in a day during which we took in the Gateway Arch and had a ride in its tram. The accommodation inside the tram was rather cramped and I felt a bit claustrophobic.

A view of St. Louis from the banks of Mississippi

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