Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
The Gateway Arch & Old Courthouse
The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, is bookended by two nationally significant monuments: the world-renowned Gateway Arch and the equally important Old Courthouse. The 90-acre national park is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson's role in opening the American West to the pioneers who helped shape its history, and to the slave Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse.
The soaring 630-foot stainless steel Arch is the nation's tallest national monument. It was designed by architect Eero Saarinen and completed in 1968. Visitors can explore the stunning structure on numerous levels: underground in the park's subterranean Visitor Center, above ground on the banks of the Mississippi, and high in the air from the viewing deck at the top of the Arch, accessed by a short tram ride inside the legs of the structure. The Visitor Center includes a museum that exhibits an extensive collection of artifacts from the Lewis and Clark expedition, as well as two interpretive films. Two blocks west is the 1839-era Old Courthouse, one of the oldest standing buildings in St. Louis. It was here that the first two trials of the Dred Scott case were held in 1847 and 1850. Today, the building houses a museum charting the history of the city of St. Louis and restored courtrooms.
What JNPA Does Here
JNPA's support helps ensure a rich experience for the millions of annual visitors who come to the park through its operation of three stores:
The Museum Store under the Gateway Arch features exclusive and unique gifts which tell the history of the nation's westward expansion, of St. Louis, and of the design and construction of the Gateway Arch.
• The Levee Mercantile features a taste of the past with unique products similar to those sold by St. Louis merchants during the commercial boom of the 1870's.
• The Old Courthouse store offers products that commemorate one of the most important cases in America's civil rights history, the Dred Scott case.
The proceeds from these stores help maintain and enhance a wide variety of educational programs, exhibits and public events at the park. Here is a sample of our contributions and support:
• We employ six full-time professional staff members at the park, including the Archivist, Librarian, Assistant Curator, Exhibit Specialist and two Interpretive Educators.
• We support numerous special events and educational programs each year, including astronomy presentations, living history demonstrations, and evening programs like Night at the Museum and Secrets and Stories of the Old Courthouse.
• We support the preservation of the park's history by underwriting conservation and archival work at the Old Courthouse.
• We host the annual Meet the Builders event, an anniversary celebration of the Arch construction, as well as periodic author book-signings and lectures.