Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Renamed Gateway Arch National Park

The National Park Service has announced that Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is now Gateway Arch National Park, better communicating to the public its status as a national park and home of the internationally recognized Gateway Arch.

“Gateway Arch National Park helps visitors connect the Arch to the National Park Service,” says Mike Ward, Superintendent at the Gateway Arch National Park. “The mission of the park remains the same regardless of the park’s name. The stories of Thomas Jefferson and his vision of westward expansion are woven throughout the new Museum at the Gateway Arch, which celebrates its grand opening on July 3, while Dred Scott and his freedom suit are showcased at the Old Courthouse.”

Legislation to change the park’s name was introduced in the U.S. Senate last summer. It was passed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 21, 2017, and by the U.S. House of Representatives on February 7, 2018. President Trump signed the bill into law on Feb. 22, 2018. The bipartisan legislation was sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and in the House by Reps. William Lacy Clay, Ann Wagner and Blaine Luetkemeyer.

“The name ‘Jefferson National Expansion Memorial’ was established long before the Gateway Arch was envisioned, and has simply never been adopted by our millions of visitors,” says Ward. “We hope this new name will best reflect the magnificent renovations and visitor experience we will unveil in a few months.” 


The Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse are part of Gateway Arch National Park, located on the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. The Gateway Arch Visitor Center features The Arch Store and Monument to the Dream documentary movie. The Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the winter. The Old Courthouse which features restored courtrooms and gallery exhibits about the Dredd Scott trials, westward expansion and early St. Louis, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The Courthouse is located at 11 North Fourth Street, St. Louis, MO 63102.  Programs are free and made possible by the generous support from Jefferson National Parks Association and Bi-State Development.


Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Hosts Student Engineering Competition in Honor of Gateway Arch’s 52nd Anniversary


Local students tasked with updating vital components of the Gateway Arch’s tram system

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is celebrating the 52nd anniversary of the completion of the Gateway Arch with an inaugural engineering contest for college students.

JNEM invited three local college engineering schools-Washington University in St. Louis, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Southwestern Illinois College-to participate in the competition. Students have been asked to solve a real-world engineering problem: how to modernize the trams’ electrical and mechanical systems.

“The Arch’s tram system is one of the most unique methods of transportation in the world,” says Frank Mares, Deputy Superintendent, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. “No other elevator system is like it, and there is no precedent when it comes to improving it. We hope this competition inspires our local college students to think outside the box, and use their engineering knowledge and their imagination to find a workable solution. We are eager to see their approach as they demonstrate their multifaceted ways of thinking and showcase their problem-solving skills.”

Students recently took a behind-the-scenes tour of the popular Journey to the Top tram ride to research the inner workings of the current system. The Park Service also provided students with photos and drawings of the project. Each school’s team will submit their proposal by October 20. JNEM’s tram mechanics staff will review the proposals and determine the winner.

Students will present their proposals at a special banquet on the Arch’s 52nd anniversary of its completion, Saturday, October 28. The winner will be announced and presented the Dick Bowser Trophy, named after the designer of the Arch’s tram system and made from recycled tram parts. The Gateway Arch’s builders will also be in attendance and recognized at the banquet, in celebration of the 52nd anniversary of the Arch’s completion.

If the winning design indeed works, the Arch tram mechanical staff intend to implement it.

WHAT: Gateway Arch Engineering Competition Awards Banquet
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 28; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Award will be given out closer to end of the event.)
WHERE: Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch; 2 South Fourth Street, St. Louis, MO 63102
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Student competitors, faculty coaches, Gateway Arch builders
MEDIA NOTE: The banquet is a private event and not open to the public. Media are invited to attend. Please contact Park Ranger Tony Gilpin at 618-792-6145 to alert him of your attendance.