City Museum

Museum Blue Founders Lauren Cardenas and Michael Behle stand in the exhibit 'Water, Water'
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Last year four artists and educators decided to turn their shared studio space into an exhibition space for other artists. The project achieved unexpected results.

“The most important thing that I have learned is how remarkably diverse and surprising our audience is with every single show, with every single opening,” said photographer Gina Grafos.

Aine O'Connor

Bound in a straitjacket. Wrapped in 50 feet of chain. Tied in ropes.

Then, connected to a wooden yoke, sealed in a canvas bag and locked in a shipping crate.

All part of a day’s work for local “Doctor of Escapology,” Judas Lynch, whose current pirate-themed escape act will be on display at the City Museum’s first age-21+ event, “Falling Awake,” next Thursday night.

Max and Daisy Cassilly both work at the museum their parents created.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

When your childhood’s spent roller blading, building forts and doing your homework among the rubble that would become St. Louis’ iconic City Museum, where else are you going to work when you grow up?

Max and Daisy Cassilly were in their early elementary-school years when their parents, Bob and Gail, began transforming the dilapidated 11-story former International Shoe building on Washington Avenue in 1995. The family practically lived there for two years.

NASA/courtesy of

The City Museum is a popular tourist destination in St. Louis and its co-founder, Gail Cassilly, says founding it along with her late ex-husband was one of her life’s highlights though it was also a life that had “crushing sorrows.”  Host Don Marsh talks with sculptor and writer Gail Cassilly about her new memoir, Saltwater.  Then, Don talks with a couple of St. Louisans who are mounting a national effort to officially change the name of Columbus Day to Exploration Day.

(via Flickr/ bill.streeter)

Will be updated. (Details of updates at bottom of post)

Updated 1:03 p.m. with links to panoramas of Cementland site. Updated at 1:14 p.m with links to public artwork archive and 1:30 p.m with link to radio show archive. Updated 2:06p.m. with statement from Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis. 2:54 p.m. with vigil information.

Bob Cassilly, the founder of  St. Louis landmark City Museum, has died at the age of 61.