Gateway Arch is 50 and still fabulous
The Gateway Arch just turned 50!
On the occasional of this milestone birthday, some fun facts about the iconic monument:
- It’s the world’s largest manmade arch, 630 feet in all.
- It is called an “inverted catenary curve” and constructing it required a complex mathematical equation.
- Two architects named Saarinen (father Eliel and son Eero) entered the design competition which resulted in the arch. While Eliel received a telegram telling him he’d won, the news was intended for his son.
- It cost $13 million to build the arch which was completed in 1965.
- It was estimated that 13 people would die during the two-and-a-half year construction of the arch but no one was killed, or even seriously injured.
- Up to 6,400 people per day can take the four-minute interior tram ride to the top of the arch.
- Hundreds of lightning bolts hit the arch every year but its interior is insulated and its lightning rods are grounded into bedrock.
- The arch is designed to sway as much as 18 inches, and thus could withstand an earthquake, but to move the arch just 1.5 inches takes a 50-mile-per-hour wind.