Aerial View of the Museum of Westward Expansion

Energizing downtown St. Louis' Iconic Monument

Museum of Westward Expansion
Gateway Arch National Park
St. Louis, MO

As part of the overall team for the revitalization of the Gateway Arch National Park, KJWW, as Engineer of Record, asked KAI’s MEP group to provide plumbing and fire protection design for the transformation of the Museum of Westward Expansion.

Located below the Arch, the museum opened in 1976 and had received few updates over the decades. Its original 113,000 SF was renovated with a 45,500 SF addition. It boasts a new mezzanine, visitors hall, interactive exhibits as well as a gift shop and other amenities. Wayfinding to the underground museum and Arch access has been much improved with a westward-facing grand  entry.

KAI engineers did extensive site surveys to review existing systems and understand site constraints and limitations. The challenging subterranean conditions required specialized analysis for laying out the MEP systems in the exhibit space and visitor center, while taking into account the National Historic Site requirements as defined by the U.S. National Park Service and understanding existing capacity and future expansions.


Plumbing Engineering, Fire Protection Engineering

“We have a beautiful new entrance that brings natural light directly into the museum space, and it has brought that connection back into the city again.”

Eric Moraczewski
Executive Director, Gateway Arch Park Foundation

The Impact

Reconnecting to a National Icon.

St. Louis' Gateway Arch is an iconic monument recognized around the world. Yet prior to renovations, access to the grounds and entry was virtually cut off from the rest of downtown St. Louis, with a major highway separating them. Now, the Arch and downtown are beautifully connected via a greenway land bridge that spans over the highway. The new west-facing, glass-clad circular entry welcomes the 4 million yearly visitors to the monument, serving as a much clearer point of entry than previously. The improvements have completely revitalized the area and beautifully reconnected the city with its source of pride.

Project Recognition

St. Louis Business Journal Building St. Louis Awards 2019, Project of the Year
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Engineering Excellence Award
LEED Gold Certified
Engineering News-Record Global Best Projects Awards 2019, Best Project: Cultural