It is Our Image, It is Our Identity

Photo by Bryan Werner

 The Gateway Arch has held (Former Mayor Francis Slay) in awe since his father, popular St. Louis restaurateur and political figure Francis R. Slay, regularly brought him and other family members to the icon during its construction. It’s easy for him to remember the day it was topped off: October 28, 1965. That was his father’s birthday. “That’s why I always remember when it happened,” said Slay, who served until 2017…..

If there was no Gateway Arch, Slay said, the city would be nondescript. “There wouldn’t be a whole lot to set it apart from other cities in terms of skyline,” he said. “When you say St. Louis, people think of the Arch. When you say the Arch, people think of St. Louis. Wherever you are in the United States and pretty much wherever you are in the world, it is our image, it is our identity.”

  • Page 216 and 220, The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and The Hard Hats Who Built The Gateway Arch, 2nd Edition, by Jim Merkel.

Come buy one of the first copies of the second edition of The Making of an Icon and have Jim Merkel sign it at at the book’s launch party from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, July 24 at The Royale St. Louis Bar and Grill, Tavern and Restaurant, 3132 South Kingshighway Blvd, St. Louis. Then experience the reopening of the renovated Gateway Arch museum and visitor center on July 3.


Published by Jim Merkel

Reedy Press published four of my books, Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2010; Beer, Brats, and Baseball: St. Louis Germans, 2012; The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch; and the Second Edition of Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2014. They're available in bookstores and online. For an autographed copy, send a check for $21.50 made out to Jim Merkel, to Jim Merkel, 4216 Osceola St., St. Louis, MO 63116.

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