- - Thursday, August 20, 2015

Having grown up in the shadow of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, the name of architect Eero Saarinen is etched into my earliest of memories—along with rides up to the top of the famous landmark he designed. Saarinen did not live to see the completion of the Arch, dying at the age of 51 from a brain tumor.

Inside the base of the monument there is a museum that celebrates the Westward expansion inaugurated by President Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase and the exploratory journey of Lewis and Clark. St. Louis was the “Gateway to the West,” hence the theme of the monument.

Saarinen also designed the terminal at Dulles Airport, a structure that any St. Louisan would immediately feel a kinship with because of the soaring Saarinen design. Other U.S. structures designed by Eero: the TWA Terminal at Kennedy Airport and the Lincoln Center—both in New York City.

Eero was born on this date in 1910, in Kirkkonummi, Finland. 

Lesser known here in the U.S., but also of significance as an architect, Eero’s father Eliel was also born on this date in 1873, also in Finland.


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