Jefferson National Expansion
Chronology of Events, JEFF, 1980-1991
The City of
St. Louis informs the National Park Service that it intends to build a
$12 million parking garage on the north end of the memorial grounds, but
is unable to sell the necessary revenue bonds.
JEFF begins the observance of Black Heritage Month
in February in an effort to better acknowledge the contribution of
African-Americans in the settlement of the West and St. Louis
On April 15, restoration work on the Old Courthouse
lantern is completed; this includes the repair of damage caused by the
June 1979 fire.
On the first weekend in May, the first Storytelling
Festival is held at JEFF, sponsored jointly by the park and the
University of Missouri-St. Louis.
15% of more than 2 million visitors to the Arch
attend interpretive programs at the Museum of Westward Expansion.
A report by the regional law enforcement specialist
notes the inadequacies of JEFF's protection division. This leads to
reorganization and expansion of the division.
museum education program becomes involved with the St. Louis Public
Schools' Partnership Program. The goal is to provide a unique learning
opportunity for students outside the classroom.
On July 4, the first Veiled Prophet Fair is held on
the Arch grounds; attendance is estimated at more than 1.5 million
On August 28, the exterior restoration of the Old
Courthouse from the base of the lantern to the main roof is completed;
this includes the lantern balustrade, main dome, and upper and lower
drums. Paint is removed by applying crushed walnut shells under high
pressure; this method has less impact on the historic fabric of the
White Haven is placed on the National Register of
Development Agency agrees to sell $8.5 million in bonds to finance a
parking garage on the north end of the memorial grounds.
Librarian David Nathanson completes a study of JEFF's library and
From April 2 to August 29, JEFF hosts a major
exhibition of work by western artist Charles M. Russell.
Interpretation Division publishes the first issue of Gone West!;
publication is continued until 1985.
The last Frontier Folklife Festival is held at JEFF;
funding is no longer available.
In March the contract for building the Arch parking
garage is awarded to Fred Weber, Inc., of St. Louis.
On March 15, U.S. Representative Melvin Price
introduces a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enlarge
JEFF to the Illinois side of the Mississippi.
appoints Ray Breun as its first Executive Director.
In February, archeological monitoring at the parking
garage construction site begins and is continued until January of 1985.
No significant resources are found.
On April 30, a contract is awarded to WVP
Corporation for A/E services to determine the causes of deterioration of
the terrazzo entrance ramps at the Arch, and to propose solutions.
On August 24, President Ronald Reagan signs Public
Law 98-398, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Amendments Act,
which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to designate up to 100
acres on the east side as an enlargement of JEFF. It also mandates the
creation of a Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Commission to
develop a plan for the east St. Louis addition.
On September 26, a contract is awarded to Ed
Jefferson Contracting Company to replace the terrazzo surfaces on the
Arch entrance ramps with granite blocks and to install an electrical ice
melt system under the walks.
28, the interior restoration of the Old Courthouse dome begins. It
includes replastering and an investigation to determine the best means
of preserving the decorative painting and the restoration of a selected
decorative design scheme in the upper rotunda and main dome. A later
modification calls for a full color rendering of the 1880 design scheme
by Ettore Miragoli.
education staff begins a revision of the entire program to make it
coincide more closely with Missouri curriculum requirements.
The City of St. Louis passes an ordinance
prohibiting all glass containers at the VP Fair. This substantially
reduces the incidence of problems with broken glass.
JNEHA interpreters begin working in the Museum of
In February, JEFF installs an energy management
system to monitor the park's energy use.
On July 12, Midwest Construction, which had been
awarded the contract for the Old Courthouse interior restoration,
declares bankruptcy. The contract is terminated and the project
finished by the security company, the Integon Indemnity Company, in
On July 28, the next phase of the Old Courthouse
restoration is completed. This includes rehabilitation from the level
of the cornices to the foundation: paint removal and repainting; repair
and replacement of wood and glass; and replacement of stonework.
On November 25-26, the first meeting of the
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Commission is held.
In December, JEFF accepts the donation of a major
collection of American Indian peace medals.
interpreters begin staffing the Old Courthouse in order to keep it open
to the public. This is necessitated by NPS budget cuts, and
accomplished by JNEHA's assumption of the theater operation at the Arch.
A fee for the movie is instituted, and the proceeds help to fund the
Old Courthouse positions.
Education Experiences (S.E.E.) program is first offered by JEFF. This
makes education programs available year round.
JEFF develops an education program with the Stix
Investigative Learning Center, a Magnet School for gifted students.
On May 6, the Arch parking garage is officially
On May 27,
Treeland Nurseries completes a contract to replace plants on the
On June 26, the Regional Director, Midwest Region,
requests Jefferson National Expansion Memorial to undertake a study of
the White Haven site to develop alternative management strategies.
On June 27, White Haven is designated a National
On December 8, the Jefferson National Expansion
Memorial Commission holds its fourth meeting and the NPS presents six
development alternatives for consideration. The Commission selects the
Gateway Museum/National Museum alternative, assuming it is feasible.
On December 19, Treeland Nurseries completes a
contract for the replacement of dead trees on the Memorial grounds.
The four St. Louis History galleries are opened in
the Old Courthouse.
A wheelchair lift is installed at the west entrance
of the Old Courthouse to provide accessibility to the first floor of the
for A/E services is awarded to Zurheide-Hermann, Inc. to determine the
sources of water intrusion at the Arch complex and propose a solution.
The project is expanded in 1990 to include repairs to the structural
systems and asbestos removal.
The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Commission
drops the museum idea from their proposal.
In July, arrangements are made between the National
Park Service and IMAX for the production of a movie in the wide-screen
format for the second theater at the Arch.
education program begins offering traveling trunks.
In September, a non-NPS Education Coordinator and
five education interpreters are hired by JNEHA.
The Division of Law Enforcement is reorganized and
the number of commissioned rangers doubled.
The first "Scout day" is held for area Boy
From June to August, the Interpretation Division
conducts its Union Station Urban Initiative Project as a way to bring
the National Park system to the urban residents of St. Louis. Fifteen
rangers representing eight NPS regions and 12 individual parks present
On September 17, the Jefferson National Expansion
Memorial Commission submits the final Development and Management Plan to
the Secretary of the Interior.
A full inventory of the park's museum collection is
"Scout Day" is held for area Girl Scouts.
The JEFF Archives are formally created and the park
hires its first professional archivist. Funding for the position is
provided by JNEHA.
Air conditioning is installed in the first floor
galleries of the Old Courthouse.
On March 21, U.S. Representative Richard Gephardt
introduces a bill into the House of Representatives for inclusion of
White Haven in the National Park System.
In May, JEFF begins collecting a $1.00 per person
In August, the Interpretation Division produces the
first issue of the Museum Gazette.
In August, Woodward-Clyde Consultants begin a
geotechnical analysis to determine the effect of constructing a second
theater in the Arch complex, and decide there will be no detrimental
15, in a letter to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Commission,
the Secretary of the Interior says: "Because the acquisition of binding
commitments has proven to be an elusive goal, I must withhold my final
approval until those commitments are obtained, pursuant to the law."
The Interior Department further outlines 14 steps that are necessary for
the plan and states, "This will take years to accomplish."
On October 6, Senators John Danforth and Christopher
Bond introduce legislation in the Senate to establish White Haven as a
national historic site.
By December, 6,015 recataloging worksheets are
completed for the JEFF museum collection, and 966 accession records and
5,390 catalog records are computerized.
assumes collection of NPS entrance fees as part of their centralized
revenue collection and ticketing system. This leads to a major
remodeling of the ticket area.
The carpeting in the Museum of Westward Expansion is
The Law Enforcement Division is reorganized and
re-named the Division of Law Enforcement and Safety.
In July the deal with IMAX for a wide-screen
projection system is canceled because of a disagreement concerning the
projectors; IMAX wants to rent them, the NPS wants to buy them.
In September, the University of Missouri-Rolla and
the National Park Service sign a Memorandum of Agreement for use of a
high pressure water jet for rock excavation for the second theater.
JNEHA funds the park's first full-time librarian
By December, 90% of the park's museum collection
records have been computerized.
"Victorian Christmas at the Old Courthouse" has its
biggest year so far, with special children's programs, noontime
concerts, and evening candlelight tours.
The NPS signs a contract with Lucasfilms for the
development of a script for a film about westward expansion entitled
Emergency Operations Plans are rewritten.
The High School Education Program is initiated; its
success leads to the High School Intern Program.
In June the film project with Lucasfilms is canceled
due to the inability to find corporate sponsors to finance the
On October 28, NPS Director James Ridenour, Chairman
of the Southwest Illinois Development Authority Earl Lazerson, and
Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan, sign a Memorandum of
Understanding whereby SWIDA promises to acquire land on the east side of
the Mississippi for donation to JEFF and to obtain binding financial
commitments required for final approval. Lujan promises to designate
the site once the lands are donated.
Work begins on the repair of the roof of the Arch
visitor center. All soil is removed and a waterproofing membrane
outbreak of the Gulf War with Iraq, tighter security measures are
introduced to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks. Access to the Old
Courthouse and the Arch is restricted with magnetometer check
The Interpretation Division purchases the Ventura
Desktop Publishing system to facilitate more in-house production of
In May, JEFF is accepted into the Educator Career
Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004