A museum for the masses
St. Louis invites the young and old to play with recycled remnants.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 16:12
AMUSE-UM: MonstroCity is dedicated to breathing in fresh air, climbing on top of old airplanes and getting in touch with your childhood roots. (Photo: em-j Staples)
There's a museum that encourages guests to run through the halls, climb on the structures, touch the art and play endless games of hide and seek. There is no such thing as quiet in this museum, just shouts, shrieks and giggles. This museum has a circus show "on display." Its exhibits include an indoor skate park, a vintage consignment store and a ten-story slide. Museum security maintains the outdoor fire pit and supplies the marshmallows for roasting. The City Museum in downtown St. Louis offers an alternative educational experience using nothing but recycled materials.
There are 600,000 square feet of exploration in the old International Shoe Company building. Everything in it is constructed from old bridges and cranes, chimneys and planes. There are miles of tiles, reels of steel, a vault by default and levels of caves for the brave and misbehaved.
The art is the real smart part. It's the center, it's the museum's beating heart. Art on the walls, art in the halls — even art in the bathroom stalls. There are crafty arts for the small and for the tall — creating claymations or animal animations. These stations are all recycled fixations allowing liberations and positive vibrations. It's the imaginary part that is state of the art.
Now this is all the creation of a man called Cassilly. Not Willy or Billy, but Bob Cassilly. He's a sculptor and entrepreneur — everything but silly. Cassilly and his crew wanted something new to do. Who knew with lots of glue, some bamboo, old bottles of shampoo and dreams to pursue, the crew found something worthwhile to do. This is all remarkably true that the City Museum followed through, attracting more visitors than Timbuktu.
"What shall I do?" may be a thought you review. Why, that's easy; there is so much to do. Run through old architecture, or Monstrocity mind you. Learn to tie a shoe in the shoelace factory, or perform kung-fu at the Circus Harmony ring. You may say "adieu" to the fish in the blue at the world aquarium debut. If food is in your point of view, the second floor food court may offer some fondue. There's fun for you in a place that used to make shoes.