Gateway Arch National Park

Did You Know?
  • The former name of this park was Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; the name was changed in 2018.
  • A tram ride to the top of the Arch takes four minutes, but the journey back down only takes three.
  • There are 1,076 steps in each leg of the Arch, but they are only used by maintenance personnel.
  • Land for the historic Old Courthouse was donated in 1816, by Judge John Baptisite Charles Lucas and St. Louis founder, Rene Auguste Chouteau.

The Gateway Arch National Park (formerly Jefferson National Expansion Memorial) is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. It is bookended by two nationally significant monuments: the world-renowned Gateway Arch and the equally important Old Courthouse. As its prior name suggests, the 90-acre national park is a memorial to President Thomas Jefferson's role in opening the American West to the pioneers who helped shape its history, and to the slave Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse.

The soaring 630-foot stainless steel Arch at the center of the park is the nation's tallest national monument. It was designed by architect Eero Saarinen and completed in 1968. Visitors can explore the stunning structure on numerous levels: underground in the park's subterranean Visitor Center, above ground on the banks of the Mississippi, and high in the air from the viewing deck at the top of the Arch, accessed by a short tram ride inside the legs of the structure. The Visitor Center was renovated and greatly expanded in 2018. It features a new museum that interprets the nation's westward expansion, St. Louis' early history, and the design and construction of the Gateway Arch. Highlights include an extensive collection of artifacts from the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Two blocks west of the Arch is the 1839-era Old Courthouse, one of the oldest standing buildings in St. Louis. It was here that the first two trials of the Dred Scott case were held in 1847 and 1850. Today, the building houses a museum charting the history of the city of St. Louis, restored courtrooms and offices for National Park Service staff.

What JNPA Does Here

Through the operation of two stores – one at the Gateway Arch and one at the Old Courthouse – JNPA generates revenue that helps ensure a rich educational experience for the millions of annual visitors who come to this park.

The products we sell at The Arch Store commemorate the history of the nation’s westward expansion, the early days of St. Louis, and the design and construction of the Gateway Arch. At the Old Courthouse Gift Shop, we offer products related to one of the most important court cases in America’s civil rights history, the Dred Scott case.

The proceeds from these stores help maintain and enhance a wide variety of educational programs, exhibits and public events at the park. Here is a sample of our contributions:

  • We employ the park Librarian as well as educational interns that help deliver valuable programs to teachers and park visitors.
  • We support numerous special events and educational programs during the year, including astronomy presentations, living history demonstrations and evening programs.
  • We support the preservation of the park’s history by underwriting conservation and archival work at the Old Courthouse.
  • We support the park's annual Meet the Builders event, a recurring celebration of the Arch construction.