Gateway Arch, St. Louis
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The audacity of form--the Arch in St. Louis
As iconic as the Gateway Arch is, you just can't appreciate the scale and audacity of it until you stand under it in person. On a family road-trip when I was kid, we passed through St. Louis but didn't have time to when I found out I would be attending a work-conference here, and that my hotel would be across the street from this landmark, I couldn't wait.

Early-morning and late-afternoon runs took me under and around this 630-ft.(192m) tall structure, (taller than the Space Needle), and some colleagues and I took the 5-person-'pod' elevator (not for the claustrophobic) to the top of what is technically a 'catenary curve.' The metal soars, effortlessly, above a vast lawn overlooking the Mississippi River. From the top, you can see 30 miles in any direction...

From a frontier French settlement to a bustling city that hosted the 1904 World's Fair and Olympics, St. Louis might no longer be the center of American migration, but history has left grand public spaces, and the downtown is reviving...

Plan to visit at sunrise or sunset, when the stainless steel surfaces gleam warmly, almost blindingly...

Observation deck hours: summer--8am-10pm; winter--9am-6pm

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