1960s steel workers to visit Gateway Arch for first time

1960s steel workers to visit Gateway Arch for first time

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, UNITED STATES: Services were being held at the Old Cathedral shown with the Gateway Arch (background) in downtown St. Louis, Missouri at noon 14 September 2001. The service was part of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance requested by President George W. Bush after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington,DC. AFP PHOTO /Scott ROVAK (Photo credit should read SCOTT ROVAK/AFP/Getty Images)

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by Eric Lorenz / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on November 15, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 5:25 PM

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A group of a dozen men who worked as Boilermakers to construct sections of the Gateway Arch in the 1960s will get to see the finished product for the first time on Thursday.

Nearly a half-century ago, the men, many of them in their 20s and 30s, worked in the Warren, Pennsylvania steel fabrication plant owned by Pittsburgh-Des Moines, Inc. The company was a renowned builder of bridges, tanks, missile silos and other projects.

The PDM facility employed about 150 workers, but after it obtained the contract to fabricate the wedge-shaped stainless steel sections that form the outer shell of the Arch, an additional 100 employees were hired.

The workers’ trip to St. Louis was organized and funded by the Boilermakers union to honor those who worked at the so-called “birthplace” of the Arch.

“Ironworkers, along with other trades, did a masterful job of erecting the Arch on site,” said Newton B. Jones, Boilermakers’ International President. “But there is another story that has gone largely untold. The men who did the front-end work, who crafted the individual Arch sections to exacting specifications before shipping them to St. Louis by rail, are a part of the monument’s history, too.”

“By organizing this event, we hope to recognize their contributions and secure their place in history.”

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