Workers who Built Gateway Arch Sections Will Visit Monument for First Time Nov. 15

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Nearly a half century after the Gateway Arch was completed, a contingent of those who worked as Boilermakers at the Pittsburgh-Des Moines (PDM) steel fabrication plant in Warren, Penn., will travel to St. Louis next week to commemorate their role in the national monument. The men were part of a crew that built the Arch sections, which were transported to St. Louis by rail. The contribution of these men has been little noted, since the plant was 700 miles from the site of the monument. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers hopes to give the workers the recognition they deserve. Some will be seeing the Arch in person for the very first time.

A contingent of about a dozen men who worked as Boilermakers to construct sections of the Gateway Arch in the 1960s will visit the national monument in St. Louis Nov. 15. For some, it will be the first time they’ve seen the Arch in person.

Nearly a half century ago, the men — many in their 20s and 30s during the Arch’s construction — worked in the Warren, Pa., steel fabrication plant owned by Pittsburgh-Des Moines, Inc., a renowned builder of bridges, tanks, missile silos, and other projects.

The PDM facility, organized as Local 659 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, included about 150 craftsmen. That number swelled by more than a hundred as the firm began fabricating the wedge-shaped carbon steel/stainless steel sections that would form the Arch.

The trip to St. Louis is being organized and funded by the Boilermakers union to honor those who worked at the “birthplace” of the Arch in Warren, Pa.

“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.”

The trip to the Arch will begin Nov. 14 in Warren, Pa., with the contingent departing by coach for the 700-mile trip. The group will visit the Arch grounds the following day.

Media interviews and photo opportunities can be arranged upon request. Additional trip details will be provided prior to the event.

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The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers is headquartered in Kansas City, Kan. The union represents workers primarily in industrial plants and shops, field construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing, cement, and railroads.

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