Eero and His Arch


Eero Saarinen was born in 1910 in Finland.  He is the son of Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen and from a young age he was destined to surpass his father’s success.  His family emigrated to the United States when Eero was a teenager.  Eero studied architecture in France and at Yale’s school of architecture.  Saarinen is considered to be one of the most influential architects of the 20th century and a master of American architecture.  Eero was responsible for designing furniture, houses, educational structures, and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.


The St. Louis Gateway Arch is a monument honoring westward expansion in Missouri.  In 1948, the Finnish architect Eero Saarinen won a national competition with his design.  Construction of the arch faces some setbacks and didn’t start until 1963.  It was finally opened to the public in 1967 and costed an estimated 13 million dollars.  The arch weighs nearly 43,000 tons and is 630ft tall.  The foundation goes down 60ft just to make sure this structure is stable.  Visitors can check out the structure starting from the underground visitor’s center.  From the visitor’s center people have the option to check out the observation deck located at the top of the structure.  The arch has seen a handful of stuntmen over the years including parachute jumps from the top, hot air balloon stunts between the arch, and even planes flying through the gap as well. Today, the arch is still standing tall and often is illuminated in honor of many different events.

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