Monday, April 18, 2011

St Louis Gateway Arch, westward expansion of US, tallest structures and buildings

I received this postcard from my blog friend Lynn from Present Letters, a new Postcrossing member.
Thanks, Lynn!

postcard of St Louis' Gateway Memorial Arch
This is a very iconic structure, isn't it? The Gateway Memorial Arch in St Louis, Missouri, is also known as the Gateway to the West. It was built to commemorate the expansion of the United States to the west during the 19th century and symbolizes St Louis' role as the gateway to the Wild West.

It was designed by Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel, who won a design contest for the Arch, and was completed in 1965. At 630 feet (192 meters), it is the tallest man-made monument in the USA. It's height is equivalent to about 63 floors, if every floor is the average 10 feet high! If you dare, there is a tram system that can take up to 6,400 visitors to the observation room at the top every day when both trams are working in the summer.

Some interesting facts about the Gateway Arch from the National Park Service website:
Is the Arch moving?
The Arch is designed to sway as much as 18 inches, and can withstand an earthquake, however under normal conditions the Arch does not sway. It takes a 50-mile an hour wind to move the top 1 1/2 inches each side of center.
Has the Arch been hit by lightning?
The Arch has a series of lightning rods on the top which are grounded directly into bedrock, with a perfectly insulated interior. It is able to withstand hundreds of lightning bolts which hit it each year.

OK, I'm not sure I'd want to be up there in strong winds or nasty weather...

The steel Arch is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which includes a 91-acre (36.8-hectare) park along the Mississippi River park, the Old Courthouse and the Museum of Westward Expansion.

Lookeee, I found this interesting article on the Arch from 1964: Tallest U.S. Monument (Popular Science, April 1964) via Google Books. It details the construction and has a nice infographic on the tram to the top of the monument.

Something else interesting I learned while researching the Arch, St Louis city is in Missouri but the Great St Louis metropolitan area straddles 2 states: Missouri and Illinois.

USA stamp: Grand Teton National Park
This stamp on the card of the Grand Teton National Park is the same as the one on a card I received last week from North Carolina, you can read about it here.

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts
Related links
Tallest buildings in St Louis (Wikipedia)
Build the Gateway Arch ( something for kids. Adults can play too, I did ;0
Top 117 Tallest buildings in the U.S. (Wikipedia list)
Tallest buildings in the world (wikipedia)
Tallest buidings and structures in the world (Wikipedia)
Images/graphics on tallest buildings in the world (Google images)

by liberal sprinkles


Lynn said...

Wow, you blow me away with all your detail and links. The stamp is the only 98 cent stamp they have which is what it takes to send a postcard overseas, however, we can put two 44cent stamps and a 10cent stamp on there, but that's hard to do on a little postcard! Thanks!

liberal sprinkles said...

heheh Lynn, I wasn't complaining! It's just that I always write about the stamps as well and I was too lazy to rewrite the same info!

I really didn't mind, I have only the one stamp to use on the postcards I send as well, I asked for an alternative and yup, like you, I would have had to use at least 3 stamps to add up to the amount I needed!