The St Louis Arch is magnificent. I'm glad I saw it. This here book talks about how the Arch was made; not so much in the "it's made of stainless steel" sense as the "it's made of political sausage". The big inspiration to clear lots of land for a memorial was probably to trick the US government into buying up lots of land at high prices. There was plenty of racism going on as white folks tried to shoo away black folks. Design happened back when planners thought that cars and freeways made a city active.
The more you learn about Eero Saarinen, the more you find out he was a jerk.
This book makes you think about opportunity cost. The Arch is pretty sweet. But what might have St Louis been like if a bustling neighborhood was there instead? What if that area hadn't spent decades as a parking lot, waiting to turn into a memorial? What if… This book left me sadder but wiser.