Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

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.


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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 38.625412 Longitude: -90.189909 Elevation: 476 ft
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Robert Dietrich

Seasons Open

Open Year Round

Hours Open

Park Grounds 6:00 am - 11:00 pm

Eco-Friendly Notes

Trash and recycling containers are located throughout the park and facilities.

Water bottle refill stations are also available.

Accessibility Notes

The National Park Service and its partners welcome all visitors and make many efforts to accommodate people with disabilities in the Old Courthouse, the Gateway Arch complex, and on the park grounds. The park has accessible exhibits and programs and offers various assistive devices.

We do not offer access for wheelchairs, scooters, or strollers to the top levels of the Gateway Arch or the Old Courthouse.

Gateway Arch - The top of the Gateway Arch is not wheelchair accessible. To reach it and return, you must manage a minimum of 96 steps, which are separated by 6 flights of stairs. Please be aware you may need to stand for 30-60 minutes or longer, especially during the busy summer season. There is no seating or restrooms at the top of the Arch. Visitors on the autism spectrum and their companions will find useful information in this social story about coming to the visitor center and riding to the top of the Arch. 

Other than the trams to the top, the Gateway Arch complex and surrounding grounds are fully accessible. The lobby, Museum of Westward Expansion, theaters, and museum stores are all accessible by ramps and elevators.

Assistive listening devices are available for use in the two theaters. Please request devices at the Information Desk in the lobby.

Rear-window captioning devices are available for both theaters. Please request them at the Information Desk in the lobby.

Audio description is always available for the film Monument to the Dream and sometimes available for other films. Due to technical difficulties, the audio description for Monument to the Dream is currently unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please call ahead to confirm availability and request devices at the Information Desk in the lobby.

Sign language interpretation for live programs is available with one week advanced notice. Please call 314-655-1614.

Old Courthouse - Most of the first floor of the Old Courthouse is accessible to wheelchairs, but the upper floors of the Old Courthouse are reachable only by climbing stairs. On the first floor, it is necessary to climb two stairs to enter the theater or the Museum Shop.

Steps above the first floor: Between first and second floor - 33 steps Between second and third floor - 22 steps Between third floor and the balcony - 22 steps

The floor level changes in the upper floors, and single steps separate these different levels.

A wheelchair lift provides access to the Old Courthouse from Broadway, on the west side of the building. The exhibits and rest rooms on the first floor of the Old Courthouse are fully accessible.

Assistive listening devices are available for the theater.

Access Pass: If you are a U.S. citizen and have a permanent disability, you may obtain a free Access Pass at the Gateway Arch Information Desk or at the Old Courthouse Museum Shop. The passport allows free admission to federal areas which charge an entrance fees and provides reductions for other types of user fees.

Service Animals - Service animals are welcome at the park

The Levee and Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard - There are around 65 steps in the Grand Staircase betweeen the Arch Grounds and Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard, which borders on the levee. There are no designated accessible parking spaces on the levee.

For further information, please contact us through our information line at 314-655-1700 or e-mail us through our website at www.nps.gov/jeff. Missouri relay at (voice) 1-800-735-2966 provides services for those who are hearing impaired.

Pet Friendly Notes

Service animals are welcome throughout the park and all facilities.

Pets are welcome on the Park grounds only with a leash no greater than six feet.

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