The St. Louis Arch, inside looking out

The Gateway Arch, in St. Louis, Mo., is one of the world’s greatest monuments. I grew up in its shadow, always in awe. The 630-foot steel structure, designed by genius architect Eero Saarinen, stands on the banks of the Mississippi River, as a monument to the country’s historic expansion into the West. Beneath the museum one can explore that story, including the impacts on Native Americans, at the National Park Service-run Museum of Westward Expansion. If you do not take a long elevator trip to the top, you can stand underneath it and gaze at is beautiful form. Surprisingly, I have yet to see this great structure destroyed in a Hollywood blockbuster by marauding aliens, large monsters, or natural disasters. One day the Arch will get a starring role, I know.

I published a black and white version of this photo on my black and white photo gallery.

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