Create the Future. Today

Hyperlocal museum made of salvaged objects

Travel & Tourism

It’s not uncommon to find museums dedicated to showcasing local history; what’s less common is to find a city museum constructed almost entirely of locally found abandoned objects. Sure enough, though, that’s just the premise behind St. Louis’s City Museum, a hyperlocal attraction that offers up a heaping helping of (still) made here appeal. Housed in a 600,000-square-foot building that used to be St. Louis’s International Shoe Company, City Museum is an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects. The museum actually opened its doors back in 1997 and is the brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly, a classically trained sculptor and serial entrepreneur whose crew of 20 artisans have constructed the museum from the very stuff of the city. Old chimneys, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, miles of tile and even two abandoned airplanes are now part of the City Museum, which continues its ongoing salvage efforts within the bounds of the city. A collection of vintage shoelace machines from the St. Louis-based Alox Manufacturing Company are still put to work at the museum, while an Enchanted Caves exhibit makes the most of the spiral conveyor tunnel system used by the building’s former tenant. Yes, we realize this doesn’t entirely fit our regular focus on “new” and “business”, but its an inspiring example of a rigorous approach to being a locally-driven organization. In this era of Starbucks, H&M and countless other homogenizing forces, consumers value more than ever the details that make different parts of the world unique. Focus on the local, and you may just set yourself apart! 😉 (Related: Used cooking oil for ultra-local candlemaking in TokyoMass-made to order, here.) Spotted by: Rick Noyes



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