“Of course. The Arch,” you think. How obvious. It’s practically the only thing, aside from that Judy Garland movie, that many people know about St. Louis.
But, oh, that catenary curve, that swoop of steel reflecting in the sun! It evokes all sorts of responses architecture seldom does in the modern city. I used to love wandering around the city, and thinking (sometimes aloud, with a pointing finger accompanying), “Hey, look, there’s the Arch!” It would playfully peek out from behind trees, around corners of buildings large and small, bound out into view at the end of a prospect on the highway… It is a joyful silver arc, and I love it. The closest building to it in New York, in the way it can appear in all different vantages, bringing a smile to my face, is the Chrysler Building, but even that isn’t nearly as exciting.
In addition to the architecture, the Arch has a nice park around it, with views of the river, and underground it has a museum of national expansion that is pretty nice, and small enough to easily digest in an afternoon. Finally, you can take the cramped little tram up to the top of the Arch and look out over the city. The Arch is awesome, and is a must-see in St. Louis.