CityArchRiver Project Is Nearing Completion

The CityArchRiver project is winding down with only three remaining contracts underway and two more nearing design kick-off. Two of those contracts are the construction and renovation work of the nearly 150,000 square feet museum and visitors center and its exhibits. The museum will have a new feature connecting the visitor center and museum to downtown via a new west facing entrance and the land bridge over I-44. The new museum exhibits will be updated with interactive, engaging features and a focus on St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States. Galleries will include:

  • Colonial St. Louis – the founding of St. Louis and indigenous and Creole culture before the Louisiana Purchase;
  • Jefferson’s Vision – how St. Louis shaped the west; Manifest Destiny – trails, settlers, and conflicts;
  • The Riverfront Era – steamboats create an American metropolis at St. Louis and its lasting identity;
  • New Frontiers – railroads, industry, and the myth of the West in culture;
  • Building the Gateway Arch – the monument, its story, and symbolism. Interactive story galleries guide visitors from past to present.
The above photo shows a group of local media in St. Louis receiving a construction tour of the new museum and visitor center.
The above photo shows a group of local media in St. Louis receiving a construction tour of the new museum and visitor center.

Photo courtesy NPS

The new facility will open in July 2018, coinciding with the Grand Opening of the new Arch experience and the return of Fair St. Louis to the Arch park. Admission will be free to the new museum once it reopens.

Once the new museum opens, two more contracts will be issued. The focus will turn to interior renovations of the Old Court House to include new:

  • Accessibility ramps
  • Elevator
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Fire suppression systems

Additional access to the second floor will house additional exhibit areas. New exhibits will also be designed and installed within the revised interior spaces.

Finally, the on-going Overlook Stairs, which are Saarinen-designed architectural features, help tie the South and North Grounds to the St. Louis Riverfront. This project is over half-way complete and expected to finish by the end of the calendar year.

Visit the park website for more details.

Last updated: May 16, 2018