This “fascinating, engaging” history of St. Louis’s monument to American expansion reveals a story of greed, discrimination, and community displacement (NextSTL.com).
Rising to a triumphant height of 630 feet, the Gateway Arch is one of the world’s most widely recognized structures and attracts millions of tourists to St. Louis every year. Envisioned in 1947 but not completed until the mid-1960s, its story is one of innovation and greed; civic pride and backroom deals. Weaving together social, political, and cultural perspectives, historian Tracy Campbell uncovers the complicated and troubling history of this iconic symbol.
In this revealing account, Campbell shows that the so-called Gateway to the West was the scheme of shrewd city leaders who were willing to steal an election, destroy historic buildings, and drive out communities in order to make downtown St. Louis more profitable. Campbell also tells the human story of the architect Eero Saarinen, whose prize-winning design brought him acclaim but also charges of plagiarism, and who didn’t live to see the completion of his vision.