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Everything to Know about City Museum St. Louis
St. Louis is a city of museums and a treasure trove for lovers of knowledge and history alike. However, in the heart of St. Louis City, you'll find a special kind of museum that will exceed all expectations.
The City Museum is an urban wonderland that challenges the traditional concept of the museum. Here, art intertwines with adventure, and history comes alive with a modern twist. Far from isolated exhibitions where viewers gaze from afar, the museum comes alive with interactive spaces that individuals of all ages and inclinations will adore.
What is the City Museum?
The City Museum is where the conventional boundaries of art, history, and play all blur into one incredible experience. It's an establishment that refuses to be boxed into any category and aims to engage visitors with a love of knowledge through play and exploration.
At its core, the City Museum is an artistic marvel. Housed within a former 600,000-square-foot shoe factory, the space has been masterfully transformed by artists and creators who saw potential in repurposed industrial remnants and architectural salvage.
Founded in 1997 by the visionary artist Bob Cassilly, this unique institution was born from a desire to repurpose the urban landscape of St. Louis. Rather than letting the building's history fade, Cassilly and his team of artists transformed it into a sprawling, interactive environment made up of reclaimed and repurposed materials from around the city.
Their mission was to preserve parts of the city's architectural and industrial past and give them new life in a space that encourages exploration, play, and wonder for visitors of all ages. This vision is still being carried out today in projects like the St. Louis Foundry.
City Museum Hours and Location
The City Museum is located at 750 North 16th St, St. Louis, MO, 63103, just minutes from Lehmann House Bed and Breakfast.
They have flexible hours, opening daily at 10:00 a.m. and closing between 6:00 and 10:00 p.m., depending on their schedule. A full calendar of their hours can be found on their "Visit" page so you can make the most of your urban adventure.
What Are Some of the Best
Features of the City Museum?
Forget everything you know about "Do Not Touch" signs that you see in traditional museums. Here, interactive exhibits beckon visitors to climb, slide, and explore.
With features like a 10-story slide, wire tunnels outside the building, and a rooftop Ferris wheel, the museum has ingeniously recaptured the essence of childlike wonder for visitors of all ages. There are shades of the Magic School Bus, as on appears to teeter on the edge of the roof.
Here are some of the standout attractions that have made it a favorite among locals and tourists alike:
- Climbing Structures: One of the museum's defining attributes is its intricate network of climbing structures. These are constructed from repurposed industrial and architectural materials, allowing visitors to climb through a surreal cave system, around old airplanes suspended in air, and across wire tunnels that stretch outside the building.
- 10-story Slide: What was once a shoe chute in the factory has been transformed into a heart-pounding slide that spans ten stories, offering both thrill and a glimpse into the building's industrial past.
- Enchanted Caves: Deep within the museum, visitors can explore the "Enchanted Caves," an intricate faux cave system stretching throughout the museum’s underground.
- MonstroCity: An outdoor playground, MonstroCity features a maze of metal, two aircraft fuselages, and a fire engine to explore, along with massive ball pits filled with giant rubber balls.
Plan To Stay At Lehmann House During Your Next Trip to Visit the City Museum
While the museum is globally recognized and attracts visitors from all over the world, it remains, at heart, a beloved St. Louis institution. Its ever-evolving nature and deep roots in the local community make it a must-visit for both residents and tourists alike.
The City Museum defies a singular definition. You have to experience it. It's a space where art, history, fun, and community converge, creating an experience that lingers long after the visit. If you've never been, prepare for an adventure (and wear long pants and gym shoes). If you've been before, know that the City Museum always has new surprises.
You'll want nearby accommodations during your trip to the Museum, and accommodations at Lehmann House Bed and Breakfast is perfect. We're just five minutes from the City Museum and all the amenities in downtown St. Louis.