In spite of its sleek, futuristic design, the Gateway Arch traces its roots back to the early days of American exploration. This magnificent monument’s origins begin with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803; President Thomas Jefferson, driven by the dream of national expansion, acquired over 800,000,000 square miles of formerly French land for the rather reasonable sum of fifteen million dollars. Jefferson, eager to delve into the enigmas of the American frontier, ordained an exploration into his newly obtained territory headed by Meriweather Lewis and William Clark. Jefferson’s presidency may have ended long ago, but his passion for expansion lives on. Designed by Eero Saarenin and completed in 1965, the Gateway Arch comprises a portion of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri. The Arch, a truly incredible undertaking, required thirteen million dollars to construct, a figure equaling $130 million in today’s currency. Combining America’s rich history with a host of inventive innovations, the Gateway Arch is a technological marvel as well as a cultural Mecca. This unique tribute holds a plethora of records including the world’s tallest arch, the world’s tallest stainless steel monument, and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere. The monument is also designed to withstand earthquakes and violent winds. However, perhaps the Gateway Arch’s greatest achievement is its ability to transcend the ages, uniting all Americans under a common bond of curiosity and discovery.