City Museum is built around the old spiral chutes of the shoe warehouse it once housed. Artists Bob and Gail Cassilly acquired a 10-story 600,000 square foot former shoe company warehouse in Downtown St. Louis in the nineties and began transforming it into “a city within a city.”
Cassilly, an internationally recognized sculptor and his crew built a 500-foot concrete and wrought iron serpent fence around the warehouse’s parking area on 16th street. The MonstroCity structure in the parking lot incorporates some of the 29,000 artifacts that he had collected over 30 years. Visitors can climb through the planes, castles, and slides surrounding the iconic ball pits.
A labyrinth of trees, mazes, and climbers connects City Museum's secret underground to the third floor. The 10-story Slide is the longest slide in the building and the Ferris wheel is the tallest. Elaborate mosaics throughout the building feature fish and other imaginary things.
The roof of the warehouse features a retired bus from the Roxana School District; a giant dome salvaged from the St. Louis Science Center during the Center’s remodel; 3,000 pound, 24-foot tall sculpture of a carnivorous mantidae; and an outdoor garden with a foutains and giant slides.
City Museum also houses a 1925 Wurlitzer and its 1,106 pipes; an 1870s vault from the First National Bank of St. Louis; a collection of taxidermy animals and walls of butterflies; toddler town and a collection of historic St. Louis architecture on the 3rd floor; an art center with works by internationally renowned contemporary artists and murals by St. Louis based artists; 12 sculpted hippos that once resided in New York city's Central Park; and an assortment of fossels including a 37-foot-long Tyrannosaurus bataars.
City Museum is located at 750 North 16th Street, St. Louis, MO. 63103. Admission fee. Call 314-231-2489 for more information. (City Museum is closed until further notice.)
The museum features an assortment of artistic stairways leading from floor to floor and a 10-story slide.
A collection of historic St. Louis architecture is on the 3rd floor. The fourth floor showcases architect Louis Sullivan and features a section of the cornice from the Chicago Stock Exchange.