The Making of an Icon by Jim Merkel

The Making of an Icon

Photo of Arch under construction from River Front Times photo essay

The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, the Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch by Jim Merkel
The Gateway Arch is one of America’s most distinctive and beloved national monuments. Much has been written about the Arch, but no book has captured the legend, lore, and spirit behind its conception and construction, until now. The Making of an Icon:The Dreamers, the Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch compiles well-known, and rare, stories about the visionaries, finaglers, protesters, and fearless-but-skilled hands involved in an incredible undertaking that courted as much controversy as it did enthusiasm. The dreamers included the architect Eero Saarinen, who spent fourteen years tweaking his design for a Gateway Arch but never lived to see it built. Topping the list of schemers was Democratic Mayor Bernard Dickmann, who threatened to throw Missouri to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Republican opponent if the president wouldn t provide money for Smith’s memorial. That was left to intrepid workers who walked without lanyards hundreds of feet above the ground. Today, 2.5 million visit the Gateway Arch every year, and more than 100,000 motorists view the 63-story monument daily from miles away and up close. Many already comprehend its symbolic meaning and physical beauty. The Making of An Icon helps us appreciate the relentless pursuit, innovation, and toil that made the Arch happen.

See photo above of Arch under construction from photo essay on River Front Times web site

See Jim Merkel’s blog post

Coming: The New Improved Gateway Arch Book!