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09 AUGUST 2023

21c St. Louis: a new urban oasis for artistic discovery and world-class gastronomy

The latest address for 21c Museum hotels, a multi-venue contemporary art museum and award-winning hospitality brand, has opened in the heart of downtown St. Louis.


Like all 21c properties, 21c Museum Hotel St. Louis challenges the conventions of both the hospitality and museum worlds, providing a space where travellers and locals can come together to experience contemporary art exhibitions, community-focused cultural programming, and inspired food and beverage options that spark conversation and create connection.


Housed a 95-year-old, 10-story, Renaissance Revival-style YMCA building, 21c Museum Hotels have carefully restored the building, reimagining it into a contemporary space that honours its historic roots. The property now enters a new era as 21c St. Louis, boasting over 14,000 square feet of museum exhibition space featuring site-specific art installations and rotating, curated exhibitions, along with 173 artistically appointed rooms outfitted with exclusive artworks from artists who have strong ties to Missouri including Carmon Colangelo, Collin W. Elliott, Brandon Forrest Frederick, Bethanie Irons and La Vispera.


In addition to the museum, gallery space and accommodations, the property is also home to a 10,500+ square foot athletic and wellness centre, Locust Street Athletic and Swim Club – an ode to its past as community recreation centre, and two food and beverage outlets: chef-driven restaurant Idol Wolf – combining local and seasonal ingredients with Iberian sensibilities to create a Spanish inspired shared drinking and dining experience; and the Good Press – a coffee shop working with local roasters, growers, and purveyors to put the best of what the city has to offer front and centre, both led by Chef Matthew Daughaday. The building’s historic spaces, such as the former gymnasium and fitness track, will be transformed into art-filled public meeting and event spaces equipped with the latest AV technology to accommodate museum programming and other events from weddings to intimate soirees and small board meetings.

Located a stone’s throw from iconic city landmarks including the City Museum, Stifel Theatre and CITYPARK stadium, 21c St. Louis’ 14,000 square feet of museum exhibition space will present curated exhibitions and will be open 7 days per week, 24 hours per day, free of charge. The property features multiple site-specific art installations created for 21c St. Louis and cited throughout the building’s public areas. Installations include: O by Serkan Özkaya – an eight-foot diameter, spherical orb, filled with distilled water, which magnifies, diffracts, and alters the surrounding hotel reception area; The Way Out West by Fallen Fruit, a project of David Allen Burns and Austin Young – an immersive installation, spanning three floors within the property’s historic main stairwell, featuring custom-designed wallcovering, carpeting, chandeliers, and wall sculptures; Until We Meet Againby Missouri native Nick Cave and partner Bob Faust, installed on the domed ceiling of the Good Press café, imagery in the artwork is both joyful and hopeful, while also referencing current issues and challenges; and Viewfinder by St. Louis-based artist and architect Chandler Ahrens – an interactive sculpture allowing visitors to watch reflected tableaus of the surrounding architectural elements and busy streetscape through multiple viewing ports in the sculpture.


21c St. Louis also opens with three temporary group exhibitions, presented in the museum galleries and public spaces on the first and second floors, including the major inaugural exhibition, curated by 21c Chief Curator and Museum Director, Alice Gray Stites, Revival: Digging Into Yesterday, Planting Tomorrow.

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