Looking Towards ‘Bigger And Better Projects’: History, Future Of City Museum After Sale | St. Louis Public Radio

Looking Towards ‘Bigger And Better Projects’: History, Future Of City Museum After Sale

Jan 8, 2019

Kylie McRobie, visiting from New York, makes her way through one of the repurposed airplanes that make up Monstrocity, City Museum’s expansive outdoor jungle gym, on Jan. 3.
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

For more than 20 years, the City Museum in downtown St. Louis has provided a unique getaway. The museum is partly a playground, but it also contains numerous architectural marvels, many of which are the creation of Bob Cassilly, the founder of City Museum who died in 2011.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh talked with Rick Erwin, director of the City Museum, about the history of the institution and about its recent sale to Premier Parks, an Oklahoma-based theme-park company.

The sale came as a surprise to many of the museum’s employees and visitors. Erwin explained the process and logistics of the new deal. He said “there was no price” when it came to how much the building was sold for.

Rick Erwin, director of the City Museum, talked about the history of the institution and about its recent sale to Premier Parks, an Oklahoma-based theme park company.
Credit Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

“City Museum and the building were donated to charity – then the charity sold City Museum. That charity will then work with families and kids. The good of City Museum blossomed into something else that will continue to grow,” Erwin said.

So what will be changing for visitors? According to Erwin, not much.

“Other than maybe you’ll get into the museum faster, probably a better website, maybe an app, things that City Museum didn’t do – we’re very good at building slides and caves, but technology is not our [forte],” he added.

Erwin stressed that Premier Parks will be taking “a backseat” when it comes to operating the museum.

“This is our park to run, our attraction, and they are just an overall that will give us the financial support and abilities we need,” he said. Part of those abilities includes the possibility of expansion.

“We’ll keep promoting the artists to build … I’ve always wanted a see-through slide on the exterior of the building,” Erwin added. “I think we can do bigger and better projects.”

Listen to the full conversation to hear more about everything from Cassilly’s founding of the museum to what the new ownership means for future plans: 

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.