ST. LOUIS – The 21c Museum Hotel stands as a truly unique location, dedicated to curating and showcasing art narratives from the 21st century. It’s not only an art sanctuary but also a hotel.
The 21c Museum Hotel was fashioned from the former YMCA building located at 1528 Locust Street, an exquisite example of Renaissance Revival-style architecture. The architects made sure to preserve key YMCA amenities, including the historic lap pool. Additionally, the building’s original gym and track were retained and repurposed into spaces for exhibits and events, enhancing the hotel’s diverse appeal.
The 21c Museum holds the distinction of being the sole multi-venue museum in North America that both collects and exhibits 21st-century art. This establishment provides both locals and tourists with unparalleled opportunities to delve into the realm of modern art and the artists who shape it.
JP Roberts, the General Manager of the museum hotel, explained, “The whole building serves as a contemporary Art Museum, first and foremost. There are a mix of permanent installations like the fallen fruit staircase that goes from the lower level all the way up to the third floor.”
The large orb, a striking feature, immediately draws guests’ attention when they enter the hotel.
“Right, when you walk in, this is an orb, or as we call it, ‘O’,” Roberts described it. This water-filled orb, about 8 feet in diameter, distorts your vision, turning things upside down and altering their proportions. “As you can see, it’ll warp your vision and turn things upside down, make them bigger, and make them smaller.”
Roberts enthusiastically detailed the diverse art pieces housed within the space, highlighting an artwork by Ebony Patterson, an artist and graduate of Washington University. He also mentioned the staircase connecting the lower level to the third floor, sculptures from a partnership with a sculpture park, and a creation by artist Nick Cave gracing the hotel’s coffee shop.
“The billiard room has space specifically focused on elevating the 21C program. Our museum manager, Angie, has found a couple of local artists,” Roberts added. The room incorporates both canvas mediums and photography.
Ascending to the second floor reveals a dedicated gallery hosting the inaugural exhibition titled “Revival: Digging into Yesterday and Planting Tomorrow,” accompanied by a versatile event space. However, that’s not the extent of this establishment’s uniqueness; the entire museum also doubles as a hotel, offering guests the opportunity to stay and immerse themselves in this captivating environment.
When patrons choose to stay at the 21c Museum Hotel in St. Louis, they embrace a full immersion in the world of modern art while residing in opulent accommodations. From the diverse array of artwork to the unparalleled installations and intriguing spaces, this destination promises an unforgettable experience that seamlessly melds creativity, culture, and comfort.