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Case Studies 

The City Museum

St. Louis



Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
July 27, 2005
December 14, 2017

An adventurous, ramshackle collection of outsized sculptures and play spaces, including famous multi-story slides.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

The brainchild of sculptor Bob Cassilly, the City Museum is like an amusement park in the middle of downtown St. Louis. It occupies an old shoe factory--a Depression-era relic that Cassilly and his partners have brought back to life with a fantastically imaginative collection of play spaces, exhibits, and sculptures. Some attractions, like the Museum's awe-inspiring underground cave system and its multi-story slides (which visitors use like downward escalators), take advantage of the building's unique industrial spaces. The museum invites its visitors to create and interact with exhibits, from the studios on display at "Art City" to the unique indoor playground known as "Skateless Park."

In addition to the museum space, the City Museum is a true mixed-use destination, housing a banquet facility, artist galleries, office space, and residential lofts. A tavern on the first floor called the Cabin Inn occupies a transplanted 19th century log cabin structure and is a frequent venue for local musicians. Like the rest of the museum, it is a place unique to St. Louis.

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities


How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

The City Museum
The Cabin Inn at night. All images courtesy of The City Museum.
The City Museum
The patio of Cabin Inn.
The City Museum
Getting inspired at Art City.
The City Museum
A performance at "everydaycircus."
The City Museum
Snaking through one of the museum's giant slinkies.
The City Museum
The City Museum
The City Museum

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.


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