Refining the Architecture of Security

Efforts to protect the largest monument in the United States---the Gateway Arch in St. Louis---from terrorist attacks are complicated by architectural criticisms and lack of opportunity for public comment.
July 28, 2004, 12pm PDT | Deborah Myerson
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Like other monuments and buildings across the United States, Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch in St. Louis is the subject of measures to protect it from possible terrorist attacks. Built to commemorate the nation's expansion to the west under Thomas Jefferson, the Arch had been temporarily surrounded by concrete walls since 9/11. Now, the National Park Service is dismantling the walls in favor of a permanent fence of bollards to encircle the site. However, many are unhappy with the design, including members of the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, calling it "inappropriate" and objecting to the lack of public discussion on the plan. Park Service officials note that while public participation is usually invited on federal projects, matters involving national security are exempt from public comment.

Thanks to Deborah Myerson

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Published on Saturday, July 24, 2004 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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