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CityArchRiver: Vote online to fund Arch overlook repairs

Steps leading to the Gateway Arch's north overlook need funding for restoration.

Public support could help pay for some finishing touches to the massive redevelopment projectbelow the Gateway Arch.  

A campaign by the National Trust for Historic Preservation is offering $2 million in grants for 20 National Park sites in need of improvements. The money will be divvied up based on which sites gets the most votes online.

Ongoing redevelopment is transforming the grounds, but the crumbling steps and overlooks to the north and south aren’t included in CityArchRiver’s $380 million plan.

"The steps were not originally included in that $380 million project because those projects were really more about improving the grounds and not the maintenance portion,” said CityArchRiver Communications Director Ryan McClure.

Aerial view of Gateway Arch grounds during redevelopment.
Credit CityArchRiver Foundation
Restoring the north and south overlooks at the Gateway Arch grounds is not included in CityArchRiver's redevelopment project.

McClure explained that completed and ongoing construction projects have entailed transforming the grounds and surrounding areas with new designs, such as expanding the museum underground or building a park over Interstate 44. The plan for the north and south overlooks, he said, entails restoring them to their original condition.

“Those were designed by Eero Saarinen, and they’re an integral part of the connection between the park and the river so winning this grant would help us in cobbling together the funding to repair those steps,” he said.

McClure said CityArchRiver’s bid for $250,000 from National Trust for Historic Preservation’s campaign “Partners in Preservation: National Parks,” would not cover the entire cost of the repairs, but would enable the plan to go forward.

The online voting contest is in collaboration with American Express and National Geographic, which is hosting the voting site online. The partnership is intended to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places and coincides with the National Park Service’s upcoming centennial this year. Other grant requests include restoring a historic lodge at Yosemite National Park, stabilizing the mooring quays at Pearl Harbor and repairing a watchtower at the Grand Canyon.

The seven sites with the most votes will have their requests fully funded. Other sites will share the balance of the $2 million depending on how many votes they get.

Residents can vote daily at VoteYourPark.org until July 5.

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