City Museum

City Museum is a museum whose exhibits consist largely of repurposed architectural and industrial objects, housed in the former International Shoe building in the Washington Avenue Loft District of St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Opened in October 1997, the museum attracted more than 700,000 visitors in 2010.

The City Museum has been named one of the "great public spaces" by the Project for Public Spaces, and has won other local and international awards as a must-see destination. It has been described as "a wild, singular vision of an oddball artistic mind."

City Museum was founded by artist Bob Cassilly and his then-wife Gail Cassilly. The museum's building was once an International Shoe Company factory and warehouse but was mostly vacant when the Cassillys bought it in 1993. Construction began almost immediately after the purchase of the building, and was shrouded in secrecy until visitors were first allowed into the museum to see the work in progress on New Year's Eve 1996. With the construction of the iconic giant whale in the lobby completed in 1997, the museum opened to the public on October 25 of the same year. Within two years, it was drawing 300,000 visitors a year.[1] Cassilly remained the museum's artistic director until his death in 2011.[2]

The museum has regularly expanded, adding new exhibits such as MonstroCity in 2002, Enchanted Caves and Shoe Shaft in 2003, and World Aquarium in 2004.[2]

 City Museum roof

A circus ring on the third floor offers daily live acts, and the museum has also hosted concerts. It houses The Shoelace Factory, whose antique braiding machines make colorful shoelaces for sale. The building's fifth floor consists of apartments, dubbed the Lofts at City Museum, which range in size from 1,300 to more than 2,800 square feet (260 m2).[3]

^ Louis, St. (January 30, 2000). "Bob Cassilly and Gail Cassilly". ^ a b Fenske, Sarah. "Bob Cassilly Was Beaten to Death, Medical Expert Concludes". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 2016-10-12. ^ Lofts at City Museum Archived 2008-03-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
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