The Gateway to the American West: The St. Louis Arch

“To the question, what is the purpose of architecture, I would answer:

To shelter and enhance man’s life on earth, and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence.”

Eero Saarinen, architect, the Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

We have hopped the Atlantic for the summer, and are now exploring our home continent via a grand North American road trip – thus my sporadic postings.

Our American and Canadian adventures began in St. Louis, Missouri, in mid-June, where we stood under the imposing shadow of the Gateway Arch for a few moments.

It was fun to see the arch again, which was constructed in the 1960s. The last time I was there was during a family trip taken with our French exchange student, Pierre, and his dear mother, Claude, in 1993. Though we were able to ascend the shimmering structure then, during this summer’s visit, lengthy lines, the promise of jet lag, and the long drive awaiting us nudged us back onto the wide, American roadways.

Regardless, it was relaxing strolling the shady lanes leading to the arch, and then enjoying a taste of Americana at an eatery at nearby Laclede’s Landing prior to road-tripping diagonally across Illinois to Wisconsin.

St. Louis Arch Close Up
Gateway Arch, Missouri, with sun overhead
Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch
St. Louis Arch
Gateway Arch, Missouri
Gateway Arch, Missouri
Visitors to the St. Louis Arch
Visiting the Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch Grounds
Gateway Arch Grounds, St. Louis
Gateway Arch Grounds
Gateway Arch Grounds
Gateway Arch

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

18 thoughts on “The Gateway to the American West: The St. Louis Arch

    1. Eternal Traveler, it’s funny – the main attraction is the arch, but I found myself really enjoying the surrounding landscape, not only because of the handsome trees, but because it was such a hot day.

      Thank you for your comment!

  1. It’s a tough subject to photograph. Perhaps the best vantage is not close up but on the other side of the capitol building at night. This doesn’t occur to most people. You wouldn’t know to look for this vantage unless you had seen someone else’s shot. I was there not too long ago and found that spot by chance. I like your take on the subject anyhow.

    1. Hello, Victor – ah, now you share the best vantage point to shoot from. Just kidding. :) So, the next time we go, I’ll be sure to incorporate your advice. We were in a hurry during this stop-over. It was more of a stretch break before we embarked on our 6-hour drive. Given the driving we’re doing now, cross-continent, that seems short! Are your arch pictures on your site?

    1. So much to share and so little time, Rachael! After seeing your stunning pictures from the American West, I wish we had even more time to explore there. The Grand Canyon is definitely a must though. More soon. :)

    1. Agreed, Lynne! What is a favorite road trip that you’ve done?

      After having done so many European road trips, we’re happy to again be exploring fun spots of the United States! More driving commences tomorrow. :)

  2. I do so love the areas around the Arch. So many picture opportunities, so little time.

    Good job. Love your Vietnam photos as well.

    1. Greetings, Doug, indeed the arch and the surrounding gardens are very photogenic! I would’ve loved to have photographed from the arch – next time.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments and hope you’re having a wonderful week!

    1. Many thanks, Yulia! I’m so accustomed to photographing Old World Europe, so it’s been a fun departure snapping some more modern architecture. Hope you’re having a fabulous summer!

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