Last updated: April 10, 2015
The Gateway Arch: An Architectural Dream. Robert J. Moore. St. Louis: Jefferson National Parks Association, 2005.
The Gateway Arch: An Architectural Dream is an amazing book because it tells not only the story of how the famous St. Louis monument was built, but also reveals some of the people behind the story too. These people come to life in oral history segments that are interwoven in the pages of this fascinating and beautiful book.
The voices that emerge from this collection of people are extraordinary. Readers are generally not treated to a behind the scenes story like this. We hear candid remarks and commentaries from architect Eero Sarrinen, original landscape architect Dan Kiley, former National Park Service director George B. Hartzog, Jr., Charles E. Peterson, Historical Architect with the National Park Service and one of the first employees of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and many others.
What readers get from this myriad of perspectives is a compelling and deep understanding of what it took to begin and complete this monumental task of overhauling a riverfront area in early to mid-century St. Louis. This book spells out how difficult a task it was and showers us with personal recollections that help readers tie together the whole story of the memorial and its beginnings.
Tying all these stories together is the book’s author Robert Moore, a leading authority on the Gateway Arch, and current historian at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Moore’s knowledge of the history of the Arch, St. Louis and American history, bring this book to life in ways few other authors could accomplish.
If that weren’t enough- the book is lavishly illustrated with over 150 drawings and photographs of St. Louis, the memorial project and people involved in the making of the monument. This is a book that will please anyone with an interest in St. Louis history, city planning, or public memorials.