The Gateway Geyser was hailed as the US’ tallest fountain with an amazing complement to its famous arch. The story behind this fountain is filled with a good deal of commitment, vision, expertise and ideas. The Gateway Geyser has a height of 630 feet which fits its description as a fountain situated right across Mississippi River and straight from the famous Gateway Arch.
By chensiyuan - chensiyuan, GFDL, Link
It all started with the dream of Malcolm W. Martin. He was a retired lawyer and very active in civic activities. He went through a journey of ideas and considered it as his own personal mission. This desire of his happened during the 1960s with then intention to revive the waterfront in a way that it would be complementary to the Arch. Aiming at the purpose, Martin along with his other civic leaders spent for the Gateway Center of St. Louis in year 1968 and started buying the site. Once the land became theirs in 1985, they knew that their developments would surely move forward.
Martin and the rest first thought of creating a museum but the idea of an amazing and giant fountain that would be a reflection of the arch’s height emerged to be a more amazing idea. They thought hard on how they would make this possible, considering all possible costs and maintenances that would incur. Hence, to help them out, they all turned to the power of Hydro Dramatics with its leading company called Missouri Machinery & Engineering.
It was in May 1995 that the fountain was finally realized. The surrounding four tinier fountains symbolize the four rivers that meet in St. Louis, where numerous well-wishers gather up. It remains to be awe-inspiring as Kerry Friedman, the general manager of Hydro Dramatics describes it.
The Gateway Geyser is composed of three 800 horsepower pumps. The fountain strikes out 7,500 gallons of water every minute straight to a rate of 250 feet of water every second. This can be compared similar to the speed of traveling by air. While the four tinier fountains are powered with a 125 horsepower pump, its lake lies on an 8-acre land which is filled with about one million gallons which feed the fountains. It is also capable of automatic detection of the speed of the wind and also responsible for lowering the column’s height to lessen the fallout of the water. It shuts down on automatic mode when the wind velocity goes beyond 13 mph.
The leading proponent of the Gateway Geyser made has already passed away in 2004, but his memory lives on with this amazing attraction that he was able to create. Much amelioration is currently being planned for the benefit of the park’s aesthetic and economic value and this includes the construction of the outlook platform of the Mississippi River. It will be a 43-foot tall observation structure so that people can have the amazing views of the geyser, the St. Louis Skyline and the Gateway Arch. The platform is expected to be complete by 2007.