Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
Administrative History
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Administrative History
Sharon A. Brown


Determined to act in a decisive and united manner, on January 29, 1953, the St. Louis area congressional delegation introduced five identical authorization bills in the House of Representatives to get work started on Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Sponsored by Representatives Leonor Sullivan, Thomas, Curtis, and Frank Karsten of Missouri, and C.W. "Runt" Bishop and Melvin Price of Illinois, the bills (H.R. 2215, 2216, 2217, 2218, and 2219) called for the memorial to be built in accordance with Eero Saarinen's plan as approved by the United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission in 1948. The bills did not limit authorization to just five elements, they also authorized the Arch's construction. Within a month, on February 18, Missouri Senator Thomas Hennings, Jr. submitted a similar authorization bill into the Senate (S. 970). [1]

All six bills authorized the secretary of the interior to grant easements for above-ground parking and for underground bomb shelters. The cost of relocating the railroad tracks was limited to $1,875,000, a figure placed in the bills by the National Park Service even though no exact figure had yet been worked out as to the total relocation cost. [2] While awaiting the bills' consideration before the Committee on House Administration and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, association members geared up once again to exert their influence. They contacted local supporters, Park Service officials, United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission members, and political figures throughout the nation. They sought out witnesses to testify at the hearings, and collected written endorsements of the project. [3]

On May 18, 1953, Senator William Purtell's (Connecticut) Senate Subcommittee on the Library considered S. 970. The subcommittee heard testimony from two senators, four representatives, the current and two former mayors of St. Louis, association and commission members, local St. Louis businessmen, Missouri's governor, the memorial's superintendent, and Eero Saarinen. The greatest emphasis was placed on the unfulfilled contract made between the city and the Federal Government twenty years previously to build a memorial. Also, the witnesses made it clear that they wanted an authorization, not an appropriation. [4]

The next day, May 19, the House Subcommittee on the Library, chaired by Representative Robert Harrison (Nebraska), considered the five house bills and quoted Representative Price's bill, H.R. 2216. Once more the project's supporters extolled the memorial's virtues, repeated its history, and emphasized that the current year was the 150th anniversary of Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase. [5] By June 10 the House subcommittee approved the measure and sent it to the House Administration Committee for action. [6] In the Senate Thomas Hennings, Jr., urged the subcommittee to pass S. 970, but found some new opposition. The Bureau of the Budget advised the Department of the Interior that construction of the memorial would be inconsistent with current national budgetary objectives, and suggested deferring the project until it was warranted from a fiscal standpoint. Assistant Secretary of the Interior Orme Lewis forwarded this ruling on to Senator William Jenner (Indiana), chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. [7] Hennings and Curtis immediately attacked this opinion. Writing to Budget Bureau Assistant Director Rowland Hughes and to Assistant Secretary Orme Lewis, Hennings stressed that the bill was for authorization only. Curtis met with Hughes, explaining once again that no appropriation was being sought. Both men, as well as Mayor Tucker and association president William Crowdus, urged the Bureau of the Budget and the Department of the Interior to reconsider their reports. [8] Their pleas were heard. The Bureau reconsidered its unfavorable report on S. 970 and decided to report the measure favorably if no funds for the project would be requested until the national budget was balanced. Curtis immediately informed the Senate subcommittee of the action while Hennings appeared before it to urge authorization. The senators, however, deferred action. [9]

On the House side, the Committee on House Administration followed the advice of its subcommittee and passed the memorial authorization bill on July 27, only after financial constraints dictated once again that authorization be limited to just five elements of the memorial plan: railroad relocation, grading and filling, landscaping, paved areas and utilities, and restoration of the Old Courthouse. Introduced as H.R. 6549 by Representative Sullivan, the bill passed the House on July 31 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration the next day. The bill carried a $5,000,000 limitation and was similar to H.R. 8591 that had not passed the House in 1950. [10]

After the Bureau of the Budget reversed itself on the bill, the Department of the Interior followed suit. Senator Jennings hoped this action would help in the drive to secure Senate approval. Throughout the rest of the year the project's supporters answered inquiries, sought sources of objections, and generally kept abreast of developments. In November, when Senator Theodore Green (Rhode Island), a member of the subcommittee, stated his opposition to the memorial, Hennings contacted former President Harry Truman, who subsequently wrote Green, urging his approval. [11]

Despite all these efforts, 1953 passed with no Senate action. Then, in January 1954, Senator Green withdrew his objections and time became important. The bill had to go through soon or it would get mired with the forthcoming appropriation bills in the Senate. On February 25 Hennings called the bill before the full Senate Committee for Rules and Administration, only to have the committee's meeting cut short due to another meeting. Chairman William Jenner promised Hennings he would bring the measure up at the committee's next meeting on March 10. Jenner did so, and the committee reported the measure unanimously on March 11, sending it to the full Senate. [12] The bill stalled in the Senate, however, when two senators voiced objections on fiscal and political grounds. Almost a month passed before the Senate approved the House measure in May 1954. Several more days passed while the House completed additional action. The basic bill, H.R. 6549, had obtained House approval previously, but House concurrence was needed on several minor Senate changes. President Dwight D. Eisenhower received the bill on May 11 and signed it into law on May 18, 1954. [13]

No matter that the bill only authorized five stages of development! No matter that the Arch was neither authorized, nor that any more than $5,000,000 in Federal funds could be spent! For the first time in twenty years the project's backers had paper proof that the Federal Government would go through with the plans. They believed they could obtain an appropriation whenever the national budget was balanced and then work to authorize the Arch's construction. It was a giant achievement, but not final success; two years would pass before an appropriation would be acquired.

Work On Site

While the authorization bill moved slowly through the maze of congressional committees, work continued on the site in St. Louis. Extra attention was drawn to the project, primarily because of the Louisiana Purchase Sesquicentennial in 1953, and also because of St. Louis' continuing parking problems. Approximately 3,500 motorists routinely used the memorial area for a downtown parking lot during the 1950s. The National Park Service and the city rewrote their cooperative agreements to maintain control and efficiency in the expenditure of funds coming from the riverfront parking operation. Realizing that this parking area would not be permanently available, former Mayor Kaufmann proposed yet another underground garage in 1954. As if to punctuate this proposal, landfill was brought onto the memorial site. Starting in late December 1954, the Missouri Highway Department dumped 80,000 cubic yards of earth on the site northward from Clark Street toward the Eads Bridge, between Memorial Drive and Wharf Street. Almost 300,000 cubic yards had already been deposited from Clark Street south to the memorial boundary. [14] The new soil gave city officials physical proof that riverfront parking would not be available forever, and pressed Park Service officials even harder to solve the parking question.

In the years since 1940 that the National Park Service had maintained the Old Courthouse, no restoration work had occurred in either the rotunda or the west courtroom. By 1951 the rotunda was deteriorating; the entire center section of the floor had to be roped off to prevent accidents from falling plaster. Superintendent Julian Spotts and his staff began alleviating the most serious deterioration by removing ceiling plaster, wooden laths, loose wall plaster, and old white paint in the rotunda and south wing corridor. Original wood framing dating from 1839 to 1845 was discovered in place. Staff workers removed large amounts of wood chips, old gas pipes, and electric wiring. This work was primarily this work was fire preventive. [15]

National Park Service museum preservation specialist Walter Nitkiewicz and a staff of eight art students from Washington University restored the rotunda paintings in 1955. They cleaned and touched up the murals while working on 145-foot high scaffolds. As much restoration as possible was done with the 1862 creations of Charles Wimar and the 1880 paintings of Ettore Miragoli under Nitkiewicz's supervision, while historian John Bryan pursued research to identify the painted figures and emblems. [16]

The work on the rotunda was just part of the Old Courthouse restoration program which began in 1953. Replastering rooms, restoring balconies, replacing doors, setting granite steps, installing lights, laying brick sidewalks, and refurnishing courtrooms were just a few of the projects conducted in and around the old building. In 1954, a new exterior coat of white paint gave the structure prominence in the city. The new image was heightened by the addition of a wrought iron fence around the building in 1956. [17] Lifting the aged face of the Old Courthouse focused more attention on completing the memorial.

Appropriation Efforts

Association members became frustrated with the now familiar slow progress in Congress. No construction appropriations other than for restoring the Old Courthouse and acquiring and clearing the site were forthcoming from Congress because of national budgetary considerations. Association President William Crowdus decided in 1955 to look elsewhere for funds. He appealed to both the Ford and Rockefeller foundations, saying that the citizens of St. Louis were deserving of their assistance, and asked for $10,000,000 to complete the work. Both groups replied that as foundations they could not make grants for national memorials. [18]

A breakthrough in the funding impasse occurred late in 1955 when the Federal Government announced that a strong possibility existed for a balanced budget in 1957. Representative Tom Curtis, William Crowdus, and Julian Spotts met and discussed introducing yet another bill into Congress. Rowland Hughes of the Budget Bureau assured Curtis that the memorial was in a favored position. When President Eisenhower formally announced the 1957 balanced budget in January 1956, Representative Leonor Sullivan made sure the National Park Service had included the riverfront project in its 1957 budget. Representative Frank Karsten suggested reactivating the United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission to support the $5,000,000 request. The Bureau of the Budget informed Karsten on February 1 that the balanced budget removed the legal bar to appropriation of funds, and he and Sullivan introduced the legislation into the House. [19] After various supporters urged the Department of the Interior to act, the department requested $3,000,000 for the memorial project. The Budget Bureau received this request and on February 22 approved spending $150,000 on Old Courthouse landscaping and fence restoration (this figure was part of a $415,963,000 Interior Department appropriations bill). On March 1 the White House requested $3,000,000 for the memorial as a supplemental appropriation for fiscal year 1956. If the House and Senate concurred, the money would be available by summer. Added to a $1,000,000 city contribution, the total fund could even cover the cost of relocating the railroad tracks. [20]

The House moved swiftly. Early in March the Appropriations Committee considered the $3,000,000 supplemental appropriation, part of a $795,768,832 supplement to various Federal agencies. After National Park Service Director Conrad Wirth testified in its behalf, the House passed the measure on March 22, 1956, but with a limitation: the funds would not be available for use after June 30, the end of the fiscal year. A provision for the money to remain available until expended was knocked out of the bill the previous day on a point of order. Missouri Senators Hennings and Stuart Symington appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee in an attempt to get the Senate to reverse the House's action in placing the restriction on the money. [21] Then, in a completely unexpected move, the Senate Appropriations Committee removed the memorial appropriation from the supplemental bill by a voice vote on April 10. The project seemed stalled once more. A week passed before a breakthrough came when a joint House-Senate conference committee restored the funds. Congress agreed to provide $2,640,000 for the project, available until expended. As soon as the conferees agreed on the total appropriations bill, the Senate and House reviewed it a final time. [22] In the House there was a last minute attempt to kill the appropriation, and Representative Thomas Curtis charged that the railroad interests were trying to defeat the memorial. Curtis had no concrete evidence that the railroads were responsible for the specific delays of the present session of Congress, but he believed they had been behind many of the delays over the years. Despite the effort to kill the measure, the House approved it 134-10 on May 16. The Senate approved the measure that night. Controversy reared over the bill in the Senate chamber, but the disagreement was over appropriations for the Tennessee Valley Authority, and not Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Three days later President Eisenhower signed the supplemental appropriation bill into law, giving St. Louis $2,640,000 in Federal funds to use in relocating the railroad tracks. [23]

One of the project's supporters, Representative Frank Karsten, wanted more and sought to remove the restriction in the 1954 authorization bill against using Federal money to build the Arch. He prepared such a bill, but Leonor Sullivan criticized his timing and Thomas Curtis believed Karsten should wait until negotiations began on the preliminary grading and railroad relocation work. Only cooperation between the area's Democratic and Republican representatives had worked in the past to achieve any measure of success for the memorial. [24] Despite the criticism, Senator Clinton Anderson, chairman of the United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission, supported Karsten's efforts. Anderson wanted the commission to adopt a formal resolution expressing its desire for a fitting memorial. Now that money was appropriated, rumors of building stadiums instead of the Arch on the site were circulating. [25] Anderson wanted to squelch such talk, but Leonor Sullivan again criticized taking this action. When H.R. 6549 came out of the Senate with the restricting amendment attached to it, she had to accept it or lose the bill altogether. Supporters were just now getting a partial appropriation, won only after a long struggle in Congress even with Representative Clarence Cannon as chairman of the House Managers in the Conference Committee and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Sullivan believed the appropriated $2,640,000 would be jeopardized over the controversial issue of funds for the Arch. She wanted to wait. [26]

Continuing Railroad Problems

The Department of the Interior agreed with Sullivan. In August Secretary Fred A. Seaton refused to promote the drive to acquire Arch funds. He believed that reconsideration of the original authorization should wait until after the Department of the Interior and the railroads completed an agreement on removing the railroad tracks, because such a decision would affect all future development. [27] This statement reopened the railroad question. Even though the 1949 "Memorandum of Understanding" was still in effect, new questions were being asked about the past negotiations. In March several National Park Service officials questioned whether all the possibilities of relocating the tracks elsewhere than stated in the "Memorandum of Understanding" had been examined. Superintendent Julian Spotts could not convince them that the memorandum was the product of thirteen years of work and negotiation. Spotts thought it perilous to reopen the question of placing the tracks elsewhere. His office had an agreement with Eero Saarinen, and Spotts wanted to consult with Saarinen immediately regarding final technical details before resuming negotiations with the railroads. [28] However, the National Park Service administration told Spotts not to confer with Saarinen, to make no contact with the railroads, and that whenever there were discussions with Saarinen and the railroads there were to be representatives from the Washington and Regional National Park Service offices present. Spotts was even told how and when he should meet with the railroads, and what he should say. These instructions came as a surprise to Spotts, considering the history of the project's development. His office had always carried on railroad negotiations. He welcomed upper echelon Park Service participation in the deliberations, but he believed that his office staff was in the best position to determine what approach should be taken regarding the railroads. If these new restrictions prevailed, office morale, incentive, and efficiency would be impaired. Spotts could not see how the project could proceed unless the design, construction, and authority to make decisions rested in his office. [29] This growing misunderstanding served to undermine Superintendent Spotts' control over developments in his park, and led to his premature resignation from the National Park Service several years later.

A few months after Secretary Seaton wondered if all possible solutions had been explored on the railroad issue, a Chicago-based engineering firm, Alfred Benesch and Associates, was asked to prepare plans for the railroad relocation and estimates of cost. Their report unleashed a furor, for they did not stop at making cost estimates; they went on to say that the tracks in front of the memorial should not be removed. Response to these findings came sharply and swiftly. William Crowdus, Eero Saarinen, and the American Institute of Architects all immediately denounced the idea. National Park Service Director Conrad Wirth simply stated that the Park Service would have to analyze the report, then sit down with the city and the railroads to come up with a solution. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch led the attack while the St. Louis Globe-Democrat surprisingly endorsed the Benesch report; the paper wanted to drop the idea of moving the tracks and to concentrate instead on building the monument. [30] The conflict raged for several days until the Post-Dispatch uncovered and printed the fact that Alfred Benesch and his firm were hired at the suggestion of the president of the Terminal Railroad Association. This was enough of a link to convince the Post-Dispatch that the firm's "gratuitous advice" not to move the tracks should be ignored. [31]

This situation developed because the Park Service and the Terminal Railroad Association joined in a cooperative agreement in October 1956. The TRRA would hire an engineer with Superintendent Spotts' approval to survey, design, estimate, and report on the cost of all materials concerned with relocating the tracks. Alfred Benesch and Associates submitted an interim report in December that analyzed five relocation methods. On February 6, 1957 representatives of the National Park Service, the city of St. Louis, the TRRA, and the Missouri Pacific Railroad met and agreed that Benesch should prepare final plans and cost studies for two of the five plans; an open cut containing three tracks lower than the levee's present surface, and a modified tunnel plan which would carry three tracks through the memorial area in a tunnel not longer than 3,000 feet. [32] Thus the final Benesch report that appeared on May 3, 1957 was expected; what was unexpected was the opinion against removing the tracks at all. Director Wirth could only seek additional conferences to work out a solution.

Representative Leonor Sullivan was surprised and disturbed to learn that the city and the National Park Service had agreed to go along with the railroads in subsidizing such a study. She heard from several people that the railroads considered the Benesch study a good delaying tactic. Now memorial supporters were confronted with the unwanted suggestion not to move the tracks. Moving the tracks was a vital ingredient for completing the memorial, and Sullivan did not want the railroads to upset the "ambitious plans" of the city and the Federal Government. She wanted Mayor Tucker to explore every means by which the city could back the National Park Service in forcing the railroad's cooperation. She did not want to threaten the railroads if they did not cooperate, but she wanted Tucker and Conrad Wirth to remember that it was worth keeping in mind that the Federal Government and the city were far from powerless in the situation. [33]

Alfred Benesch's cost estimates for both plans were high. Placing the tracks in an open cut would cost more than $11,000,000, while the estimated tunnel costs ran in excess of $14,000,000. [34] The National Park Service had to make a statement concerning the issue, so Director Conrad Wirth gave assurances that the Park Service would draw up a definite program of construction in accordance with Saarinen's plan. "It's time to stop talking in generalities and go ahead with a definite order of procedure, definite cost estimates, and a definite schedule," Wirth asserted. [35] Believing that relocation costs might not be as expensive as Benesch stated, Wirth had Eero Saarinen study the possibility of making minor design changes. The changes would be technical, to see if several phases of development could occur simultaneously. [36]

Saarinen worked all summer. The National Park Service's final recommendations depended upon what adjustments Saarinen could make to achieve minimum relocation of the tracks. By October Saarinen finished his changes. The revised plans called for placing the five sets of railroad tracks into a shortened tunnel 100 feet west of the trestle, with the tracks being lowered sixteen feet. This did not mean that the memorial would be cut off from the river, however, for Saarinen provided a 960-foot long tunnel to be placed over the railroad where a "grand staircase" rose from the levee to the Arch. At the north and south ends of the park, 150-foot tunnels spanned the tracks, and led to the overlook museum, restaurant, and stairways down to the levee. Saarinen designed a subterranean visitor center the length of the distance between the legs, to include two theaters and an entrance by inward-sloping ramps. The new positioning made the Arch more prominent and reinforced its axial relationship with the Old Courthouse. This strong association with downtown St. Louis came at the sacrifice of association with the river, which could no longer be seen from the base of the Arch or from the Old Courthouse steps. The "Saarinen vista" was destroyed, and the Museum of Architecture and reproductions of early St. Louis buildings abandoned. [37]

These revised plans had to pass the scrutiny of several groups. The United States Territorial Expansion Commission approved the plans as did Russell Dearmont, president of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, while the TRRA studied the changes. On October 2, when Saarinen presented his plans in the west courtroom of the Old Courthouse, he spoke not only to officials of the National Park Service and the railroads, but also to city officials and the congressional delegation. Tucker, Crowdus, Sullivan, Karsten, Curtis, Wirth, Spotts, Armstrong Chinn, and Dearmont — all parties holding interest in the memorial for whatever reason — were there to support the final push for planning, appropriation and construction. [38]

By November 15 the railroads, the Department of the Interior and the city agreed on the general terms of the revised plans, deciding that $5,053,000 would be needed to carry out the relocation. On November 29, 1957, all parties signed another "Memorandum of Understanding" accepting the revised plans for relocating the tracks. The signers agreed that the plans were practical and aesthetic. Since allocation remained a problem, a subcommittee was later appointed to recommend a division of costs. Their recommendations were submitted to the National Park Service, city, TRRA, and the Missouri Pacific for a final agreement. By December 17 the secretary of the interior signed the memorandum. To save money, Eero Saarinen agreed to allow two surface tracks to remain on the levee. The $5,000,000 estimate covered only the cost of moving the elevated tracks and not those on the surface. [39] Finally, after more than twenty years of negotiations and planning, the physical work could begin.

Or so the project's supporters believed. The only remaining task, cost allocations, was thought to be a minor detail. It proved to be a major stumbling block, however, because of the Terminal Railroad Association. Discussions continued throughout December. On February 20, 1958, when the TRRA met with Mayor Tucker to tell what share of the cost it would bear, its officers attempted to reduce use of the tracks to cut the cost of relocating them. The TRRA also offered a plan eliminating the tunnel altogether, settling on an open cut 960 feet long shielded by shrubs and trees. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch berated the TRRA's attitude and last-minute plan changes after Secretary of the Interior Fred Seaton had clearly stated that local agreement was crucial for further development. [40]

On March 10, in a meeting in his office, Mayor Raymond Tucker announced yet another plan, this one designed to save $1,500,000 in relocation costs. He called for dropping the tunnel idea in favor of open cuts roofed with concrete slabs. Initial reaction from Eero Saarinen and the National Park Service was favorable. Mayor Tucker, who was an engineer by profession, had simply taken the TRRA's economical open cut idea and covered its ugliness by placing concrete slabs on top as a roof in strategic locations. The cost of this plan stood at $2,684,000. Saarinen approved the concept, as the tracks remained where he had placed them, and with the slab being at the same elevation as his proposed tunnel would have been. The two ground level Wharf Street levee tracks would remain as situated. A day earlier the TRRA had dropped plans for a floodwall, saving $816,000, and offered to contribute $500,000 toward track removal. [41]

On March 31, 1958, the TRRA accepted Mayor Tucker's plan. Their general counsel and City Counselor Forrest Ferris drew up outlines of the estimated costs, while two weeks later Eero Saarinen placed the final estimated cost at $2,940,000 after conferring with Mayor Tucker and Superintendent Spotts. On May 12, 1958, city and railroad officials signed their final agreement. Mayor Tucker, Armstrong Chinn, and Russell Dearmont agreed on open cuts and roofed areas covered with slabs or "bridges." The TRRA would place $500,000 in escrow for the project, and the city needed to sell $980,000 of the 1935 bonds to match the Federal contribution. Now the only signatures needed were those of Director Wirth and Secretary Seaton, and their addition on June 2 finally satisfied the 1954 authorization requirement that an agreement for track relocation satisfactory to the secretary be made before any of the funds appropriated in the Second Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1956 could be spent. [42] Two weeks later the TRRA paid the Mercantile Trust Company $500,000, to be held in escrow until all terms of the agreement were met. When the National Park Service let contracts to start on the memorial's construction, the TRRA money would be paid to the secretary of the interior. The contribution also cleared some old debts and litigation, because it was agreed that donating $500,000 would end the 1937 city suit against the TRRA for their failure to build railroad approaches to the MacArthur Bridge. Also dropped was the 1943 city suit against the TRRA over unpaid bridge rentals. [43]

Several other minor details needed attention. In July the city obtained a court ruling stating that the 1935 bonds were still valid, and the city could proceed with raising funds to match the Government appropriation. Superintendent Spotts appeared before the Public Service Commission to have them modify their original order to permit the location of the tracks according to the new agreement, still retaining the eighteen-foot tunnel clearance. [44]

With these chores completed, National Park Service Director Wirth announced that relocation could begin by June or July 1959, and success was around the corner. One of the prime factors breaking the years-long impasse over the railroad question was the leadership shown by Missouri Pacific Railroad President Russell Dearmont. The TRRA consistently opposed the relocation because of the expense, but in 1957 the new Missouri Pacific president believed the memorial was necessary. Dearmont persuaded his associates on the TRRA's board of directors to agree with the city and the Federal Government on the relocation. For his efforts Dearmont received the 1958 St. Louis Award, on which occasion he gave additional credit for breaking the impasse to TRRA officers and Mayor Tucker. Within the National Park Service hierarchy Julian Spotts deserved some credit for the achievement partly because the agreement was based on some of his designs, recommendations, and estimates. He told the regional director that despite all newspaper accounts to the contrary; it was he who broke the negotiation deadlock. [45]

Increased Authorization

During the railroad negotiations memorial supporters attempted to obtain the balance of the 1956 appropriation. Of the $5,000,000 authorized in 1954 only $2,640,000 had been appropriated. The United States Territorial Expansion Commission voted on March 21 and April 25, 1958, to request an immediate appropriation of the remaining $2,360,000. Fourteen Missouri and Illinois legislators sought the funds in a supplemental appropriations request. Acting Secretary of the Interior Hatfield Chilson could not give any assurances as to when such a request could be placed in an appropriation estimate, but said the department would do the necessary preliminary work to start the additional authorized phases of development whenever funds were appropriated. [46]

The St. Louis area congressional delegation went one step further. On July 1, 1958, they introduced six identical bills amending the 1954 authorization to provide for the construction of the entire Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Senators Hennings, Symington, and Clinton Anderson introduced S. 4085, which was referred to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Bills H.R. 13242 (Sullivan), H.R. 13243 (Karsten), H.R. 13244 (Curtis), H.R. 13245 (Price) and H.R. 13246 (Kenneth Gray) were referred to the Committee on House Administration. [47] The bills moved quickly. One month after introduction the Department of the Interior and Bureau of the Budget approved the bills authorizing a $12,250,000 increase in Federal funds to the memorial without reservation. Added to the $5,000,000 previously authorized, this would make a total of $17,250,000 of Government funds available. The Bureau of the Budget approved the increased monetary authorization only, not the previously sought additional appropriation. Despite this, the congressional delegation expressed approval of the action, for with these bills they were concentrating on increasing the authorization rather than seeking additional appropriations. They wanted to lift both the 1954 restriction against planning for the Arch and the balanced budget requirement. [48]

On August 12 the Senate Interior Committee approved S. 4085 without dissent or changes and sent it before the full Senate. Five days later the Senate passed the bill unanimously, and sent it to the House where Representative Paul Jones (Missouri), chairman of the House Administration subcommittee, assured Leonor Sullivan that his subcommittee would consider the bill. Within days House committees approved the bill and the House itself unanimously passed the bill within minutes after it was brought up on the consent calendar where one member's objection could have blocked it. Because the House approved the Senate version of the bill, no conference between the two houses was required. President Eisenhower signed it on September 7, 1958, authorizing an increase of $12,250,000 in funds for the memorial and dropping the 1954 restrictive language. Appropriation bills would have to wait until a later session of Congress.

The National Park Service, however, had no plans to ask Congress for any additional funds. Their budget for 1959, long submitted to the Department of the Interior, did not seek more funds for St. Louis. The Park Service intended to begin work on the railroad removal with money already appropriated. Director Wirth wanted the project to be finished by 1963, but this date, of course, depended upon further appropriations. [49]

Superintendent Julian Spotts dearly wanted to see the project finished. He had already invested eighteen years of his life overseeing the birth struggles of the memorial. Yet during the last years of the 1950s he had found himself becoming increasingly discouraged with the National Park Service hierarchy and his own limited role in overseeing development. In 1956 he protested against the limitations placed on his duties as he saw them, and the conflict intensified as the date of construction became a reality. Spotts wanted to carry two responsibilities: to direct the work of the architect, and to supervise the construction of the memorial. He thought it was understood that he as Superintendent would be the engineer for the actual development, and that his office would cooperate with other Park Service offices in preparing all engineering designs, plans, and specifications, and supervise and execute all contracts in cooperation with the architect. Consulting engineers would lend assistance for some of the most difficult engineering problems. He insisted that "The mental strains of steering this project through precarious channels are not endurable by me without the anticipated reward of performing the engineering services in addition to being Superintendent." [50]

Park Service officials expected Spotts to be the area supervisor, to be the Park Service representative, and to do basic surveys and prepare preliminary data as needed for furthering Saarinen's work, but they decided that responsibility for the project's engineering should rest elsewhere. With this, Spotts retired in protest on December 8. He believed he could not support his negotiated commitments, develop strategy in further negotiations, or coordinate the various construction elements in proper sequence unless he controlled design and construction. He also believed that his public relations had been impaired to the point that the general public had no confidence in his authority to support its commitments. For these reasons Spotts felt that his removal would be in the memorial's best interest and he went on annual leave until his retirement became effective January 10, 1959. St. Louis newspapers printed the news on January 1. [51]

Julian Spotts' departure marked the end of an era for the memorial. When he started working in St. Louis the concept had been new, the site covered with old decaying warehouses, and Bernard Dickmann sitting in City Hall. Spotts oversaw the Old Courthouse and Old Rock House renovations, and watched the site turn into a large parking lot just as its opponents said it would. For eighteen years he dealt with city officials, railroad officials, association and commission members, architects, engineers, and a handful of congressmen and women attempting to get the memorial off the ground. Now construction would begin as the National Park Service brought in a young, dynamic lawyer to take charge. George B. Hartzog, Jr., would clear the way for the building of Saarinen's Arch.

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004