Museum of Westward Expansion Closing

Grizzly at MWE Entrance
Grizzly bear guarding the entrance to the Museum of Westward Expansion.

Sue Ford/NPS

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News Release Date: February 3, 2015

Contact: Ann Honious, 314-655-1614

On Tuesday, Feb. 17, the Museum of Westward Expansion, located below the Gateway Arch, will close to make way for entirely new museum exhibits and visitor experience in association with the CityArchRiver 2015 project. The Gateway Arch will remain open and will continue to offer Journey to the Top tram rides during this time;however, due to the limited capacity of the entire Gateway Arch facility, a timed ticket will be required to enter the Arch beginning Monday, March 2. Journey to the Top tram ride tickets or Arch Entry-Only tickets can be purchased in person at the Old Courthouse or online at
Other operational changes in effect March 2:
  •  The Old Courthouse will serve as the Ticketing and Visitor Center for the Gateway Arch during construction.
  •  A Journey to the Top ticket will include a tram ride as well as the award-winning documentary Monument to the Dream (based on availability). For  guests not wanting a tram ride, the Arch Entry-Only ticket will allow access into the Arch facility and admission to Monument to the Dream.
  •  During the winter, the Old Courthouse is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.;the Arch is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the summer (Memorial Day weekend  through Labor Day), Old Courthouse is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.;the Arch is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
"After nearly 40 years, it's time to say goodbye to the Museum of Westward Expansion," said Ann Honious, Chief, Museum Services and Interpretation, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. "Although we are losing a St. Louis gem, we look forward to bringing visitors into the 21st century, and are committed to continuing to tell the stories of westward expansion and the Gateway Arch in modern, engaging and compelling ways." 
The new interactive museum exhibits, designed by Haley Sharpe Design, will focus on six thematic areas, including colonial St. Louis, Jefferson's vision, the St. Louis Riverfront, Manifest Destiny, new frontiers, and the design and construction of the Gateway Arch. The Arch and museum will also receive a new westward-facing entrance. During construction, the Old Courthouse will host new temporary exhibit galleries developed from those in the Museum of Westward Expansion. The first of these galleries will open in late spring 2015.
ABOUT JEFFERSON NATIONAL EXPANSION MEMORIAL: The Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse are part of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, located on the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. During construction, the Gateway Arch is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the winter months. The Old Courthouse is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the summer and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter. The Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. For more information about programs and events, please call 877.982.1410 or go to 
ABOUT THE CITYARCHRIVER 2015 PROJECT: CityArchRiver 2015 is a transformational project that will enhance the Gateway Arch experience for all visitors. The project will create a seamless park experience from the city to the Mississippi River, providing visitors with a more vibrant and safer place to visit, enjoy and return. CityArchRiver is a public-private partnership including the National Park Service, Missouri Department of Transportation, Great Rivers Greenway District, City of St. Louis, Bi-State Development Agency, CityArchRiver2015 Foundation and many other organizations. For more information, please visit

Last updated: July 19, 2019

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