Posted by: Five Star Travel & Cruises | October 11, 2011

St. Louis City Museum is a museum like no other

I came across this article today and i had to share it with you guys. This is one of my favorite places to go here in St. Louis. The article is about the city museum and all its awesome features. The man who turned the old shoe warehouse into an amazing museum died recently in a tragic accident on one of his other projects. The article from the associated press is posted below.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Don’t expect to find the Mona Lisa here. Or a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton.

Instead, this museum features a 10-story slide that whizzes guests of all ages from the roof to a subterranean cave.

Welcome to City Museum, an ever-evolving art project that is unlike any museum you have ever seen. In fact, calling it a museum is a bit of a stretch. The converted shoe warehouse is closer to a mad scientist’s workshop than a cultural institution.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.

There’s an oversized ball pit, a miniature railroad, rooftop Ferris wheel and countless hands-on exhibits. Throw in a 1924 Wurlitzer pipe organ, neon signs, preserved butterflies and the world’s largest pencil and you have one of the world’s most eclectic collections.

“It’s hard to describe. It’s really just an evolving sculpture in itself,” says Rick Erwin, the museum’s director. “It’s part playground, part artist pavilion.”

The museum, which saw 710,000 visitors last year, is a lasting tribute to the imagination of its late founder, Bob Cassilly, an artist who purchased the shoe warehouse in 1993. In, 1995, Cassilly started construction and two years later City Museum opened.

His vision for City Museum is credited by many with helping to bring people back to the downtown neighborhood where the museum is located. Once filled with vacant industrial buildings, the area is now dotted with trendy restaurants, clubs and apartments. The museum’s warehouse also houses artist studios, luxury lofts, a catering business and a company that sells fake flowers and Christmas trees. Cassilly died in an accident in September while working on a new project, converting an old cement plant into an amusement park just outside St. Louis.

There was never a plan for how to assemble City Museum. Parts just came together. A school bus was placed on the roof. An old aircraft was acquired. A large collection of bee hives, bugs and stuffed birds made it into the museum after a building maintenance worked let it be known he had been collecting them since he was 13.

Today, the eclectic mix of art and artifacts continues to grow with a statue from a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant, a sign – never quite explained – announcing “the dark side of the corn dog” and a skateless skateboard park where visitors can play (but not skate) on the ramps and half-pipes. Rag-doll making classes are offered near a woman who advertises her services as “Story teller and snowflake lady. NOT a Fortune-teller!”

An arts and crafts area and floor-to-ceiling chalkboard ensure that this is a hand-on experience for all.

“If you’re staring at a statue, there’s a feeling there. But once you climb on that statue – and you become a part of that statue – it’s a whole different feeling,” Erwin says.

During the day, children run through the halls, fly down slides, crawl on catwalks, press their face against the glass of an onsite aquarium and snake their way through caves.

One boy recently shouted toward his dad with gleeful enthusiasm: “I’m going to go explore that tunnel. If it leads somewhere cool, I’ll come back and get you.” A few moments later, he came back saying: “It goes pretty far, let’s go explore!”

At night the museum takes on a new life. On weekends, lights are turned off, flashlights are handed out and guests are left to explore until 1 a.m. in near darkness. If that’s too spooky, visitors can head up to the roof and sip $7 mojitos.

There really isn’t a theme or any type of order to the museum. The philosophy, Erwin explains, is more “organized chaos, play it by ear and see what happens.”

For example, the museum was offered a donation of lawn mower tires. “We didn’t want those tires, but we wanted to keep them out of the landfill,” Erwin says.

So, the tires were used to build a new wall.

That’s fitting for a museum with no dead ends. Every hallway loops around to something else in an effort not to kill the curiosity and momentum of guests.

“People get mad at us all the time for not having a map,” Erwin says. “We just want you to explore.”


If You Go…

CITY MUSEUM: 701 N. 15th St., St. Louis; or 314-231-2489. Admission, $12. Children 2 and under, free. Roof access is an additional $5; the aquarium an extra $6.

Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at


WE ARE YOUR TRAVEL EXPERTS—-Call Five Star Travel & Cruises Today!!
636-978-5510       or Toll Free             1-888-665-7827      .
You can also contact us at or
Visit us online a                                            Become a fan on facebook                                                                                                                              Follow us on twitter @utravelwithus


  1. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  2. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  3. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

  4. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  5. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  6. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  7. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  8. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  9. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your website, how can I subscribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

  10. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  11. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

  12. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a wonderful website.

  13. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  14. I think this is among the most significant info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  15. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  16. I dont even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  17. 19…

    Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever….

  18. 777…

    After the government takes enough to balance the budget, the taxpayer has the job of budgeting the balance….

  19. […] by Yahoo! Answers Mouse here for Related LinksSt. Louis City Museum is a museum like no otherBe Sociable, Share! […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: