Engineers Far from Ordinary: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Louis
CORPS OF ENGINEERING ST LOUIS MO ST LOUIS DISTRICT
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In 1967, St. Louis opened the Gateway Arch to the public. Designed by Eero Saarinen and Hannskarl Bandel, the 630-foot arch quickly became an iconic symbol of the city. As part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial museum, the arch is a monument to the role of St. Louis as the Gateway to the West. For many decades, St. Louis was the last civilized stop before entering the western wilderness. Dozens of explorers and thousands of settlers went through the city on their way to their own destinies in the West as the United States expanded across the continent. The arch celebrates this fact. What is less well known is the role the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers played in opening and maintaining this gateway. By first occupying the city, by leading early exploration of the northwest, and by opening and maintaining transportation routes west, the Army enabled westward expansion. Without the Army, and the Corps in particular, the route to the West may have taken decades longer to become established, or it may have taken a different route entirely. Through the perseverance and vision of the U.S. government, the Army, and the Corps, the way to the West through St. Louis opened for generations of Americans seeking a better life.
- Humanities and History
- Civil Engineering