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Former West Newsmagazine reporter releases updated Gateway Arch book

By: Jessica Meszaros


Local author Jim Merkel has released a second edition of “The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, the Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch.”

The new edition coincides with the $380-million aesthetic overhaul of the Gateway Arch and the reopening of the Arch Museum. Newly expanded content includes more stories and interviews with local workers who helped build the structure, as well as visionaries, protesters and others who played a role in the creation and ongoing maintenance of the structure.

“The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, the Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch” by Jim Merkel

The second edition also goes beyond the structure’s history to touch on the property’s recent improvements and how they relate to Arch architect Eero Saarinen’s original vision.

“A big part of [the second edition] is all the construction in the area, and how it’s grown and improved,” Merkel said.

In addition to updated stories and brand new interviews, the second edition also contains over 60 photos, including a center spread of full-color photos and historic photos scattered throughout.

A book signing for the new edition will be held from noon-4 p.m.on July 14 at Circa STL Restaurant and Tavern, 1090 Old Des Peres Road in Des Peres.  The event is free and open to the public.

Other upcoming book signings include one on July 31 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Spencer Road Branch Library in St. Peters. The event is free, but registration at the library website is required.

Merkel will also attend a book signing from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Aug. 25 in Wildwood’s Town Center Plaza during the city’s annual Celebrate Wildwood event.

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