Arch now at Gateway
Shoppers and strollers are gaining a look into the future as well as an appreciation for the past thanks to a new installation at the Gateway Mall. On display through June and July is a scale model of the proposed Springfield McKenzie Arch. The 3-D model was put on view in the center court area leading to the entrance of the Cabela’s sporting goods store. Contributions made to an online fundraising project launched in June of 2013 were used to build the 5-foot scale model of what the new structure could look like. Details of the display start with a river scene on top of the arch that features an angler in a McKenzie River drift boat as well as local wildlife. Scaled versions of a “tin Lizzie” and a ’57 Chevy were placed on a section of a roadway depicting an access drive envisioned for construction adjacent to Hwy. 126 when the full-scale arch is constructed.
The concept of recreating a physical embodiment of Springfield’s “Gateway to the McKenzie” tagline began to simmer in 2010. The idea was based upon a 1920’s era project that put the city “on the map” when the Springfield Ladies Civic Club mounted a successful fundraising drive that resulted in the construction of the first Gateway Arch, in west Springfield, what is now Glenwood. Although that structure was unfortunately lost to floodwaters only seven years later, a look at historic photos of that time still communicates the feeling of community pride it generated - as well as creating a desire to see such an icon in person.
Following three years of feasibility analysis, research, and meetings with public officials, the Friends of the Springfield Arch has been formed to chart a plan for rebuilding the Springfield Gateway Arch. The group is promoting a strategy focused on introducing visitors to attractions in the areas to both the east and to the west of the arch’s portal location.
"Already the response to the model has been overwhelming positive," said Tom Lincoln, who developed the overall concept. “People who stopped to take a look have told us they are really in favor of seeing the project completed.”
Background information about the Springfield/McKenzie Gateway Arch project is available at: http://alturl.com/foqv5, where more funding projects are now underway.
Image above: Volunteers installed a clear Plexiglas enclosure to protect the scale model while allowing the public to view it from all angles.
McKenzie River Reflections