Best Lightning Rod

The Gateway Arch

Staff Pick

The Arch has always attracted controversy. The project was part of a strategy to clear out “blight” along the riverfront, which happened to include Black neighborhoods, and it was approved through what historians agree was surely a rigged election. There’s also the imagery, a tribute to Thomas Jefferson’s bid for Westward Expansion, that ignored the destruction of Native American cultures. However, we’re not talking in metaphors here. The Arch was literally hit by lightning, multiple times, during a July thunderstorm. It is apparently struck a couple of times a year on average. Given that it is a 630-foot-tall half loop of steel, maybe that’s not surprising. Or maybe it’s just a few hundred million volts of karmic energy coming through every once in a while. — Doyle Murphy

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