21c Museum Hotels, a multi-venue contemporary art museum and award-winning hospitality brand, is thrilled to announce the opening of its highly anticipated property 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 travelers 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.
21c Museum Hotels worked with architects Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaf + Goettel and interior designers from Hufft Projects and Bill Rooney Studio to carefully restore the 95-year-old, 10-story, Renaissance Revival-style YMCA building and reimagine it into a contemporary space that honors 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 center, Locust Street Athletic and Swim Club, (an ode to its past as community recreation center), which will be available to hotel guests and as a membership to the local community; as well as the Good Press coffee shop, and chef-driven restaurant Idol Wolf, 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. Fallen Fruit, a project of David Allen Burns and Austin Young, created an immersive installation, sourced in and inspired by St. Louis, spanning three floors within the property’s historic main stairwell. Visitors are able to walk amidst the various elements of the installation, including custom-designed wallcovering, carpeting, chandeliers, and wall sculptures, while experiencing the artwork entitled The Way Out West.
Missouri native Nick Cave and partner Bob Fausthave combined elements from Cave’s recent retrospective exhibition, Forothermore,which featured his iconic Soundsuits, to create a kaleidoscopic artwork, Until We Meet Again. 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. Located in the outdoor amphitheater on the building’s east side, Viewfinder is an interactive sculpture by St. Louis-based artist and architect Chandler Ahrens; it was curated and produced in partnership with Laumeier Sculpture Park and Via Partnership. Through multiple viewing ports in the sculpture, visitors on the elevated patio can watch reflected tableaus of the surrounding architectural elements and busy streetscape.
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. “Featuring over 70 artworks in a wide range of media, by 47 artists from all over the world, Revival explores the use of historical sources in contemporary art as a transformative lens to understand the past and the present, and through which to consider the future, as individuals and as a global community in St Louis” says Stites.
The culinary program, led by Chef Matthew Daughaday, features two food and beverage outlets Idol Wolf and Good Press. Idol Wolf combines local and seasonal ingredients with Iberian sensibilities to create a Spanish inspired shared drinking and dining experience. Whether dining solo at the bar, or at a large table with friends and family, the menu is designed to be sampled from, so that each guest can experience the energy and excitement as waves of food hit the table. Idol Wolf features indoor and outdoor seating for over 100 guests plus a 14-person private dining area, as well as a lounge area, bar, and billiards room.
Good Press was designed to be a hub for hotel guests and downtown residents alike. By utilizing local roasters, growers, and purveyors like St. Louis-based Big Heart Tea and Northwest Coffee, Good Press is committed to always putting the best of what the city has to offer front and center. Whether quickly fueling up in the morning or setting up shop for the afternoon, customers can expect to find great coffee, classic café fare, and the ambient buzz of community.
The lower level of 21c St. Louis acts as a contemporary wellness destination for community members and guests, while paying homage to the property’s history as a YMCA. A social wellness space for renewing body, mind and spirit, the Locust Street Athletic & Swim Club provides a space of over 10,500+ square feet for guests to relax and recharge, including the restored historic lap pool, hot tub, locker rooms, fitness center and studios, steam and sauna and two spa treatment rooms. Membership to the Locust Street Athletic & Swim Club starts at $119 per month and includes a range of exclusive benefits.
21c St. Louis is now accepting reservations with an introductory opening offer starting from $191 dollars per night, which includes access to all athletic and wellness amenities. To stay apprised of more information, follow 21c St. Louis on social media at @21cstl, or visit www.21cmuseumhotels.com/stlouis.