Public involvement encouraged as NPS initiates planning process encompassing Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse

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Date: May 9, 2008
Contact: Tom Bradley, 314-655-1600

The National Park Service (NPS) today announced the initiation of a General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS) process for Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (commonly referred to as the Gateway Arch).

The existing management plan has been in place since 1960 and is in need of updating. The NPS has developed some preliminary concepts including reinvigorating the Arch grounds as encouraged by the Danforth Foundation. However, to facilitate sound planning, public participation is crucial. The public will be invited to develop new concepts as well as to comment on those presented by the NPS and other private and public organizations. Participation will be encouraged and facilitated by newsletters and public meetings.

The types of changes considered under the GMP process would include accessible walkways to the underground visitor center and museum, and to the grounds from the riverfront. The plan is also likely to examine a pedestrian walkway over Memorial Drive and the Interstate Highway that would connect the Arch grounds to the grounds near the Old Courthouse. Such a walkway could allow visitors to move from downtown to the Arch more safely. Streetscape changes (plantings, pedestrian access changes) would be made to make the environment surrounding the Memorial more inviting and visitor friendly.    

Minor modifications could be made to the interior of the Old Courthouse, and wayside exhibits added to the grounds to enhance the visitor experience and learning at the Memorial. Expansion of the existing museum space or modifications to other existing facilities would be considered to provide greater learning and interpretive services. Consideration would also be given to the addition of food service (temporary/ seasonal/portable, self-contained refreshment vendors), restrooms, modified security checkpoints, and other changes suggested in the past by the public.

Requests to be added to the project mailing list should be sent by mail to Superintendent, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, 11 North 4th Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102; by telephone to 314-655-1600; or by e-mail to e-mail us. A newsletter will soon be issued which will include a schedule of public meetings and will begin to outline potential management options for public review and comment. Notification of all such meetings will be made through local, regional, and national media; newsletters and public meeting schedules will also be published online at

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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