Wow! So as of the writing of this post, I just learned that the new name of this park area is as listed above in the title, but prior to 2018 it has always been known as Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. This of course is an iconic stop for anyone visiting the St. Louis area. The past 3 or 4 years, they have been working to remodel the museum space below the arch. Due to that fact, for awhile tours had been suspended, but have since been reopened. However, you still must purchase your tickets at the Old Courthouse across the way (which is also part of the park and well worth a stop by!) Then you proceed to the leg of the Arch at the appointed time on your ticket so that you can go through security and proceed to the tram that will take you to the top of the Arch.
It’s been a few years since we’ve taken the trip to the top. Once you’ve gone up once or twice it’s not worth the money to go up everytime! When we went tickets were $10 a person, which is pretty reasonable.
This was the view of the arch from the Old Courthouse steps back in September of 2017. You can see where the new museum area is taking shape at the base of the Arch. You never even used to know there was a museum until you got inside under the Arch, but this new way will bring in lots of natural light (at least from what I can tell.) They have worked to replant several trees along the Arch grounds in the wake of taking a bunch down due to a bug disease infestation a few summers ago.
I didn’t happen to take any pictures of the Old Courthouse on our trip down this fall, but as mentioned above, it’s well worth the stop, particularly as it holds historical significance as a lot took place there during the famous Dred Scott case. I’ve visited shortly after Independence Day before and it’s always fun to see the place decked out in patriotic colors and flags!
Even if you don’t pay the money to take the tram tour to the top of the Arch, it’s still well worth your time to check out the grounds for free. A trip to St. Louis just isn’t complete without seeing that iconic Gateway Arch!
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