St. Louis’s Museum at the Gateway

Originally opened in 1976, the Museum at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis has just undergone a three-year, $176 million renovation. Commemorating the role that the city played in the westward expansion of the U.S., it has added 46,000 square feet and six exhibits that trace St. Louis’s history, starting with the French Colonial period in the 1600s.

The exhibits don’t sugarcoat the past. For example, one devoted to Manifest Destiny makes clear that the land Thomas Jefferson wanted to take over was already populated by Native Americans.

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A 100-foot-wide video wall presents films about westward expansion and the building of the Gateway Arch. You can view architect Eero Saarinen’s original model for that iconic structure, as well as live webcam feeds from its observation deck.