Saturday, January 5, 2019

St. Louis Arch

Chief Curator Pam Schwartz and her team from the Orange County Regional History Center went to St. Louis to collect awards their institution had garnered. While they were in the museum conference, I wandered the city of St. Louis for a day-long sketch crawl. My first stop was to sketch the Gateway Arch.

The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot monument, clad in stainless steel. It is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri's tallest accessible building. The arch honors the Louisiana Purchase and Saint Louis in it's role in the westward expansion of the United States. It is considered by many to be the Gateway to the West. The arch has just undergone a 380 million dollar renovation making it and the park more accessible. As I sketched, the park next to me was fenced off and being re-landscaped.

The Old St. Louis County Courthouse (11 N 4th St, St. Louis, MO 63102) was built as a combination federal and state courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. It was Missouri's tallest habitable building from 1864 to 1894, and is now part of the Gateway Arch National Park and operated by the National Park Service for historical exhibits and events.

In 1872 Virginia Minor attempted to vote in a St. Louis election and was arrested. Her trials, including the deliberations before the Missouri Supreme Court, were held in this building. The United States Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett (1875) upheld the male-only voting rules, as the Constitution did not address voting rules, which were set by the states. The Minor v. Happersett ruling was based on an interpretation of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court readily accepted that Minor was a citizen of the United States, but it held that the constitutionally protected privileges of citizenship did not include the right to vote.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

No comments: