April 14, 2015
Frank Mares, 314-655-1600
WHAT: In October 2014, the iconic Gateway Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen and completed in 1965, received up-close attention from Wiss Janney Elstner Associates (WJE), recognized as the foremost leader for independent, objective and technically sound exterior assessment and restoration design on significant buildings and monuments. The team inspected the surface of the monument as part of a comprehensive study to determine the structural health of the construction materials. The complete report is available online at nps.gov/jeff. The conclusion of the findings, in part, states:
The exterior stainless steel of the Arch is in serviceable condition, without significant structural distress or deterioration. The visual anomalies, including a variety of blemishes, deposits, and discoloration, are not currently an indication of significant corrosion or distress of the stainless steel, and many of these visual anomalies are from the original construction." In addition, the report points out: "[. . .] the incised graffiti and impact damage at the base are a result of vandalism after construction," and calls for increased security around the base of the Arch to prevent future vandalism.
"We are satisfied with the extent of the research, the completeness of this report, and are ultimately quite pleased that the monument is, in fact, in great shape," said Frank Mares, Deputy Superintendent, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The Industrial Rope Access project was funded in part by Bi-State Development Agency and grants from the World Monuments Fund, and the Kemper Fund for Missouri and Kansas of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
For those looking to learn more about the complex issues facing the preservation of today's significant structures—including an in-depth discussion of the IRA project findings, the three-day Mid-century Modern Symposium (April 14 through 16 at the Drury Plaza Hotel in downtown St. Louis) will concentrate primarily on the history, use and preservation of materials found in Mid-century Modern architecture. Special emphasis will be placed on modern architectural metals, glass and concrete, and the challenges they present in proper conservation efforts. Registration for the symposium is online at https://ncptt.nps.gov/. ### National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE), is an interdisciplinary firm of architects, structural engineers and materials scientists that specializes in the investigation, analysis, testing and design of repairs for historic and contemporary structures. For more information, please visit wje.com.
The Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse are part of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, located on the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. The Gateway Arch is open daily from 8 am to 10 pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, and 9 am to 6 pm during the winter months. The Old Courthouse is open daily year-round from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Most programs are FREE of charge and open to the public. Programs and events at the park are made possible by the generous support from our cooperating association, Jefferson National Parks Association, and Bi-State Development Agency. For more information about programs and events, please call 877.982.1410 or go to gatewayarch.com.