While spending the night in St. Louis, I perused tripadvisor for city attractions my husband and I could see the next morning. I came across the Shrine and after reading its history, put it on my agenda. After breakfast, we we walked a few blocks to the church. To my disappointment, the doors were locked. Not wanting to give up so easily, I started walking around the church grounds. I met a custodian who was nice enough to walk us to the old rectory connecting the church. He said there were usually volunteers there who may be able to let us in. We rang the bell, and the sweetest elderly gentleman ("Monday Ray"... it was a Monday:) graciously agreed to give us a tour, even though we didn't have an appointment. He did a wonderful job telling us about the history of the church. The restoration of this gorgeous building was nothing short of a miracle and brought tears to our eyes when we learned about the tragedy that had occurred to bring about this multi-million dollar restoration. We never did get to the arch, but who cares! (My husband is not even Catholic but enjoyed this very much.)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.