This was taken from an article in St.louis Magazine titled The Tunning Fork of St.Louis
[link to www.stlmag.com
] But more than these, the St. Louis Arch is suggestive of an immense tuning fork. I am not the first to think of the Arch this way. I have heard rumors of a 1960s Marvel Comics book, of unknown title, in which the Gateway Arch is used as a tuning fork to defeat an “arch” enemy of humanity. More recently, Barbara Aho, an American white-supremacist member of the John Birch Society and follower of the neo-gnostic Ruckmanite cult, believes that the Arch is a latent but deadly tuning fork. Aho, who channels Old Testament prophets and looks much like a cross between a blond Demi Moore and a thin, furious Martha Stewart, believes without affectation that an Armageddonlike disaster will befall the Midwest once a plane, meteorite, or some other large, fast-moving object collides with the Arch. She feels that the impact will cause it to vibrate, sending disruptive vibrations into the bedrock beneath the Mississippi, triggering an earthquake so ponderous, so comprehensive, that it will not only level St. Louis but also alter the ancient courses of both the Missouri and the Mississippi, flooding vast areas of the lower United States and signaling the imminence of the Apocalypse.
Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-American architect who designed the Gateway Arch but never saw its completion, said that a well-designed object should resonate with its “next largest context—a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, environment in a city plan.” What Saarinen did not say, but what would surely have seemed obvious to him, is that an object must also resonate with its smaller context: a big object, especially an imposing one, must in some way be attuned to smaller objects. If big things did not recall to us little things, they would scare us to the core. There are some objects clearly massive (such as the moon) that are not threatening at all. The moon is almost the epitome of a large, benign object. It reflects. It hangs. It floats. It moves languorously and changes its shadow just enough not to become boring. It is respectable, and if it is not entertaining, it is neither malign nor sublime. There is no danger in the moon, though the potential energy it holds above us in the powerful slinging of its orbit is enough to kill all life and thrust us back to beetles. In short, its sublimity and potential terror are mitigated by its resemblance to a cue ball. So if there were a large thing fixed purposefully above a city, especially one 630 feet tall, whose effect was only to suggest something truly large, it would be conceptually and emotionally intolerable; it would be, in fact, a sublime horror. Such an object would be fearsome. Saarinen knew this, and this is the secret to the Arch: It is in fact a little object made to look very large. It is a tuning fork, a pair of tweezers, a staple, a paperclip, or some variant on a small silver object likely to be found in a general’s desk
. By this I mean that the Arch, though it is physically huge, is metaphysically small. This is true despite its symbolism of expansion. It is really a contraction arch. People who are confused about the size of the universe, such as Barbara Aho, fear the Arch because they think it too large. The Arch is in fact small. I have flown over it on my computer, using Google Earth. For someone not native to St. Louis, the Arch is difficult to find with the use of Google Earth. But from 10 miles up, if one looks for the little sphincter of Busch Stadium, beside the pixelated gray water of the river, one can clearly see the Arch next to the sphincter. One spies at first not the silver of the monument itself, not the smooth beveled steel (which, in the satellite photograph, looks like a flattened staple); instead, one sees the dark stirrup of its shadow cast over the kelly green of the memorial’s lawn—and the earth becomes a little horse below us that we can ride