Gateway Arch Conservation

Built as a monument to westward expansion and constructed between 1963 and 1965, the Gateway Arch in St Louis, Missouri, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the nation, if not the world. The arch was designed by master architect Eero Saarinen in the shape of an inverted catenary curve and has a tapering triangular cross section.

Since the Arch was completed, faint discoloration and streaking have developed on the exterior stainless steel skin of the monument. The interior carbon steel skin is also exhibiting rust at a number of locations. The National Park Service commissioned BVH Architecture and Wiss Janney Elstner to conduct a two-part investigation whose goal is to determine the factors responsible for the deterioration of the steel skins and to develop treatment recommendations for the long-term preservation of the monument.

The first phase of the investigation involved field reconnaissance surveys of the exterior and interior skis of the monument to inventory the corrosion and existing conditions and to make recommendations for additional analysis and testing. The findings were summarized in a report that was presented to the National Park Service in early 2006. Part II of the study, currently ongoing, involves close proximity observation along with analysis and testing of corrosion samples to help determine the proper course of action to remediate the conditions.


St. Louis, MO

Year Completed



National Park Service


630 ft tall, 630 ft wide


  • Getty Foundation Keeping It Modern Grant

BVH Team