The St. Louis Arch rises 630 feet above the city, a massive steel engineering feat dubbed the “Gateway to the West.”
This name has something to do with the Louisiana Purchase, but since it was built in the 1960s I’m having trouble finding the connection.
Apparently nothing in the Arch has changed since the 1960s, including the broken “interactive displays” (which I guess are just “displays” now), and the white-walled pods that transport you to the top. I’m sure they were downright futuristic in their day.
We were asked at the ticket booth if we had any problems with claustrophobia or heights. “I don’t think so,” Andrew replied, in a sort of wise-guy way. But when the tiny door slid opened to reveal the five-seated pod, I suddenly wondered, “AM I claustrophobic?”
On the four-minute ride up we watched the interior emergency staircases through the glass doors. (I suppose having a window with a view outside may have compounded the phobias). We made it to the top without any panic attacks and climbed a few more stairs to the very center. There, we found tiny little rectangular windows, smaller than laptop screens, looking down on the city below.
Some conspiracy theorists believe that the Arch was built to control the weather. Supposedly, the steel legs can create an “ionic pulse” that pushes storms out of the way. This comes with a lot of caveats, however, such as:
– the device cannot be used during the day, when tourists are inside the Arch
– the device can also pull storms into the area, which explains why there are still storms sometimes…
Considering the rain that poured down on us yesterday in the St. Louis Zoo, this secret storm-controlling device is not being used very effectively. I’m pretty sure if the government did have this technology, they would be bragging all over the place about it, or at least Edward Snowden would have said something. I’m gonna call this conspiracy BUSTED.