Arcadia Renovates Historic Gateway Arch

By Caitlin Burns | February 25, 2020

Photo of the gateway arch looking up from the ground.

In November 2019, the Arcadia Gateway Arch on Easton Road was closed to pedestrian traffic, and a new, temporary entrance was established north of the arch. Facilities Management, in collaboration with Manero Masonry and Structural Design Associates, began an evaluation of the impact of moisture intrusion and vibration from the adjacent roadway on the stability of the arch, which had begun to lean into Easton Road.  

To ensure the safety of the campus community, as well as passing motorists, the arch is being taken down. Prior to deconstruction, each stone and limestone decorative element was laser scanned and catalogued to create a map of the arch. During deconstruction, all elements are being carefully and individually removed—block by block—cleaned, and stored in a sequential order at a secure location. Time-lapse cameras have been set up to document the project. 

“We anticipate that the new archway will be built with modern materials, possibly a combination of poured reinforced concrete and cinder block as a center structure, with the existing historic schist stone being applied as a veneer,” said Tom Macchi, associate vice president of Facilities Management and Capital Planning. “This would be consistent with the original construction, and the modern materials would outlast the previous construction significantly.”

The University is still working on the design for the reconstruction; it will be several weeks before an approach is finalized. The archway project, as part of the University’s master planning process, will remain consistent with the campus’s overall design. 

Once the arch is safely taken down, the walkway that connects the University to Easton Road will be reopened for pedestrian traffic.

For more information, contact Associate Vice President Macchi at 215-572-2942.