Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pic Today 12/27/11


The St. Louis Gateway Arch
is a national monument in my hometown,
St. Louis, Missouri.

Designed by Eero Saarinen (shown above) in 1957,
the Gateway Arch was constructed between 1963-65,
standing 630-feet on the Mississippi River,
symbolic of the great Westward Expansion by Lewis & Clark.
(And yes, you can ride in elevators to the top.)

It is indeed a challenge to photograph the St. Louis Arch,
due to its scale and gleaming brilliance.
As is often times the case,
I love shooting pictures of people shooting pictures
of the magnificent stainless steel monument.
(A challenge, to say the least.)

It is no accident that Saarinen chose the exact dimensions
of the St. Louis Arch, a classic catenary arch,
one of the most stable designs in architecture.

Imagine holding a chain between your hands,
allowing it to fall to a depth exactly the same
as the distance between both hands.
Got it?
Now freeze the chain, flip it over,
and you've got a catenary arch.

(Isn't math wonderful?)

Eero Saarinen photo, courtesy of Yale University archives.


  1. Magníficas imagenes, gracias por compartir,
    que pases unas felices fiestas
    feliz año 2012.
    un abrazo.

  2. breath taking! Happy Holidays, Rick!

    xoxo, A.

  3. It's amazing, I've always liked this arc, I did not know is that you can go ... I'm shocked!
    Rick, thanks for this post, it's beautiful, full of feeling and beauty.

  4. Congratulations! Your photos are magnificent!
    the arc is fantastic, aesthetically perfect
    [as the math :)]
    and imagine that you can be inside ...
    I loved it!

  5. I am all of a sudden stricken with acrophobia and claustrophobia. I shall stay outside and enjoy looking up. I have read somewhere that this structure is in need of repair. Is it true?

  6. Oh and yes! Mathematics is wonderful!