The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson's role in opening the West, to the pioneers who helped shape its history, and to Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse. The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial consists of the Gateway Arch, and St. Louis' Old Courthouse. Tram ride are available for a fee to the top of the Gateway Arch offering a stunning view of the St. Louis skyline and Mississippi River.
The Old Courthouse features three exhibit galleries highlighting the Nation's Westward Expansion, and two historic courtrooms showcasing important civil rights decisions.
The Gateway Arch is the result of a nation-wide competition in 1947-48 in which architect Eero Saarinen's design for a 630-foot stainless steel arch was chosen as a perfect monument to the spirit of the western pioneers. Construction of the Arch began in 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965, for a total cost of less than $15 million.
The Gateway Arch, Old Courthouse and grounds of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (JNEM) form a natural focal point for a vibrant downtown St. Louis. As an urban site, JNEM offers an oasis to visitors, while remaining in proximity to a number of local attractions, hotels, and restaurants. Visitors will find a number of downtown hot-spots easily within walking distance, including historic Laclede’s Landing, trendy Washington Avenue and the recently rebuilt Busch Stadium, not to mention the storied Mississippi River.
The Old Courthouse is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the winter, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Summer hours start the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and run until the day after Labor Day and are 7:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. Admission is free. The Ticketing Center for the Arch at the Old Courthouse is open from 8:30-5:00 p.m. in the winter, and from 7:30-8 p.m. in the summer.
Official Great River Road Interpretive Center
The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The scenic route passes through 10 states and hundreds of river towns. Learn more >