PHOTO GALLERY: The Gateway Arch to Nederland takes shape over Boston Avenue

Published 6:59 am Monday, April 19, 2021

Nederland’s skyline has a new addition.

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but a drive or walk along Boston Avenue will never be the same.

Crews spent Sunday morning installing a “Welkom To Nederland” arch on Boston Avenue near its intersection with Twin City Highway.

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“It will be interesting how many people notice it,” Nederland Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Kay DeCuir told Port Arthur Newsmedia this week ahead of the construction development.

“It is something very valuable to teach anybody in this community who thinks we’re misspelling it. Then you don’t know the heritage of this city. Now is the time for you to learn all about the Netherland, why it’s in Dutch.

“That’s why we have a windmill (museum) because of the Dutch heritage. That is why we spell it welkom. It’s a history lesson that’s great for our kids or anyone to learn. It’s promoting our city.”

Future steps include painting with additional lettering, lighting, signage and tulips and lettering. Brick towers with lights will begin soon, DeCuir said.

Nederland City Council members approved construction of the $179,200 archway late in 2020.

Funded through the Nederland EDC, the project will be handed over to the City of Nederland as an asset once completed.

Dubbed The Gateway Arch to Nederland, it is being constructed just west of Cropo’s Barber Shop and crosses the street to between Lee Michael Hair Parlor and Cuttin Corners Vinyl.

LED lighting includes lamps on the east-facing side of the pillars and dome-shaped lights on top of the pillars to match a previous EDC effort on Boston Avenue.

The red brick will come from Acme Brick, and construction materials include black metal at the top and bottom of the pillars.

The height at the center of the arch is 17 feet, 2 inches, and “Welkom to Nederland” will appear on both sides in honor of the city’s Dutch heritage.

Following city council approval last year, Nederland Economic Development Corporation board member Reagan Meaux said the EDC has made the city more attractive, helping with facelifts on existing businesses.

“With more smaller businesses coming back into play these days as opposed to malls and whatnot, it’s been very successful,” he said. “We’re very fortunate and really appreciate for our business owners coming to Nederland.

“The Boston Avenue area is our retail avenue street downtown, and this creates an entryway that is an awe-inspiring thing to see when you turn the corner.”

EDC Board President Brian Swindel said Nederland’s heritage is highlighted with the appropriately spelled “Welkom.”

“It makes you ask the question, ‘why is it spelled that way?’” Swindel says. “It creates some conversation on the history of Nederland and how it all got started.”