So what do I love? This, coming from a man about to get married in eight days. Besides my fiance, I love the City Museum. Why do I love the City Museum?
- Organic – The museum was started by Bob Cassilly and his wife Gail Soliwoda sculptors turned real estate developers. They in collaboration with their artist friends started a museum and it grew.
- Community Based – The museum started with the help of local artists, teachers, students and craftspeople making it of St. Louis. There is no other museum like it in the world, making it an attraction to St. Louis.
- Welcoming – The “voice” of the museum is welcoming, it is about the visitor, not the museum, as a visitor “what do your think?”, “what can you make?”. The museum is outward facing not inward facing, the museum’s “voice” is saying “we are here for you !”.
- Arts Lens – Almost all of the experiences at the museum are through the “lens” of an artist. As a visitor you become an artist and see the wonders of the world as an artist sees them.
- $12 Admission – A local movie in St. Louis is $6.75 (I looked). Although museum admission is more than a local movie, they offer $10 tickets on Friday and Saturday after 5Pm, a brilliant idea to attract couples and under 18 visitors.
- Event Based – Last time I visited I had my fortune read, although different than a typical museum event, the museum is event driven.
- Encourages Conversation – The museum made me happy, I was standing at the top of the stairs waiting for my friend and playing with one of the stairway rollers, a group of kids came up and together we started spinning the rollers. Upstairs, I had a conversation about my friends collection of flashlights and how his collection would fit in at the museum. These are not big conversations, but the place is so happy and free you find yourself talking to people.
- Wonderful – In every sense of the word, the museum creates “wonder”, the museum is wonderful as in exciting and the museum is wonderful as in unusually good.
- Constructivist – There are almost no text panels in the museum, the museum allows the visitor to deconstruct their previous thinking and change their views
- Workbench Attitude – The world is lacking in workbenches. I don’t know of any homes with a workbench today. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched their business in Job’s garage at a work bench.
- Hands on, Minds on, Body on– The City Museum activates all of the senses, works with different learning styles and is interactive using your hands, your mind and your body.
- Artful – Makes me want to go home and make Art, maybe the highest compliment a visitor can pay to a museum.
701 North 15th Street
St. Louis, MO 63103