IWR North America Completes Work on the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Arch Visitor Center


Local specialty contractor installs decorative metal package for historic landmark

IWR North America, one of the longest-standing specialty contractors in the United States that focuses on being a true building enclosure partner, recently completed work on the $380 million renovation of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Arch Visitor Center. IWR started work on the project in March 2017 and completed their work in June 2018.

“We were honored to be awarded the contract for this historical and highly recognizable man-made landmark,” said Todd Staley, general manager of IWR North America. “The Gateway Arch is an amazing monument and testament to our country’s rich past. Being awarded the Decorative Metals package for this project makes us feel like we’re taking part in that history.”

For the renovation, IWR installed several systems which had tight tolerances and were all custom fabricated products, including stainless steel tri-wire screen wall cladding, custom wire and cable security screen, monumental stairs from the entry level to the main level of the museum, radius lovers and radius green screens, stainless steel guardrails, stainless steel and glass handrails, and stainless steel entrance grilles and grates. Following a diligent shop drawing process for each feature of the project to successfully install the systems to the concrete structure, IWR strategically prepared, measured and coordinated aligning the two. IWR installed radius and splayed fabricated products with long lead-times for procurements and fabrication. The design concept of the project was an “inwardly facing cone” creating a constantly changing radius for many of the parts of the project making fabrication and installation tolerances virtually non-existent to achieve the correct alignments between systems.

“The museum now has a dramatic new entrance and entry plaza offering improved connection to downtown St. Louis and better access to the Arch itself,” continued Staley.


For this project, the construction manager had multiple superintendents on site managing different scopes for each area of the renovation and addition. The coordination of multiple vendors was a challenge due to each custom designed piece requiring completely different installation processes. IWR’s general foreman and project manager continuously coordinated with the on-site project team to ensure the alignment with other trades regarding both finished product and installation sequence which led to a successful project completion.

The project’s general contractor was St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and designed by the architect Cooper Robertson, James Carpenter Design Associates, and Trivers Associates. IWR worked alongside local vendors TROCO Custom Fabricators and Modern Metals. With 45,000 square feet of new museum area, including exhibition galleries, public education facilities, and visitor services, the expansion reinforces a more modern telling of American history with a more inclusive viewpoint.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., IWR North America is one of the longest-standing specialty contractors in the nation, providing turnkey building enclosure services and custom specialty metal design services coast-to-coast since the 1940s. For more information and to view photos, please contact Preconstruction Manager Mike Smalley at msmalley@iwrna.com or call 314-633-4919.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.