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Bob Cassilly
September 26, 2011 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Bob Cassilly, an industrial artist/sculptor from St. Louis, responsible for revitalization via art, has tragically died in a bulldozer accident while working on his last creation, Cementland.
posted by readyfreddy (31 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
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We had an amazing time at the City Museum last spring; it's a truly special place. Considering the constant legal wrangling he had to do to keep it open, I can't imagine it will continue without him, and that makes me very sad.
posted by longtime_lurker at 1:38 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


We love the City Museum; this is so unfortunate. Cassilly had a great vision.
posted by lathrop at 1:38 PM on September 26, 2011


This is truly sad. Bob was a true visionary and a great credit to St. Louis. (And it shows - this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this - and that's when I stopped searching - AskMe all recommend the City Museum as a can't miss St. Louis destination.)

Bob bought the International Shoe building when most of the Washington Street garment district was vacant warehouses. His work did a lot to bring people downtown and show them the potential of those great old buildings.
posted by AgentRocket at 1:44 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am sad to hear this news.

I used to live in St. Louis and Bob Cassilly's City Museum was the only destination in the blighted, downtown area worth visiting for years.

The exterior is dominated by a maze / jungle gym made of discarded vehicles, sheet metal, chicken wire and inspiration (plus a ferris wheel).

The interior has great architectural exhibits, concrete trees with rope bridges, an aquarium, and a 3-story slide.

It is the type of place that drive insurance risk assessors mad and keep tetanus vaccine producers in business.

Cross the dreams of an opium smoking, absinthe drinker with the most gung-ho, dumpster-diving metal artist and you will have Bob Cassily's work.

I miss the museum and now I will miss the man who made it.
posted by Apollo's Favorite Mistake at 1:44 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh no.

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I was going to take my boyfriend to the City Museum in November. I hope it's still open by then.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:48 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by shakespeherian at 1:58 PM on September 26, 2011


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Now I wish I had gone to the City Museum back in August when I was in St. Louis. It's always a different experience.
posted by gc at 1:58 PM on September 26, 2011


This is tragic news. City Museum is, without a doubt, the coolest place I've been to in my entire life. I'm not joking about that.

WidgetAlley and gc, I wouldn't worry. City Museum will certainly keep on going. It's a major tourist attraction with tons of employees and artists working there. But Cementland will probably never be finished; just look at it. And that's after more than a decade of work being done on it.
posted by zsazsa at 2:02 PM on September 26, 2011


Truly sad. The City Museum is an extraordinary place. I hope it continues to thrive without Bob.
posted by slogger at 2:03 PM on September 26, 2011


He sounds like the perfect example of "becoming the change you want to see".
posted by KokuRyu at 2:09 PM on September 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I grew up in St. Louis and always recommend the City Museum to those visiting. I also spent countless nights in high school at Turtle Park overlooking 40. This is a huge loss.
posted by evisceratordeath at 2:14 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by dismas at 2:15 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by Sys Rq at 2:16 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by phenylphenol at 2:23 PM on September 26, 2011


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Tragic loss for the community. City Museum is an amazing place.

Photos from the Riverfront Times of Cementland.
posted by badger_flammable at 2:24 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by dlugoczaj at 2:27 PM on September 26, 2011


I just moved from St. Louis and am feeling a bit homesick. This news makes me sad.
posted by Cerulean at 2:29 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by IvoShandor at 2:31 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by lizarrd at 2:38 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by Ostara at 3:05 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by chrisamiller at 3:14 PM on September 26, 2011


What a loss. I wasn't native to STL, and I don't live there anymore, but the little follies he built, leading up to The City Museum, were a wonder.

Damn. I'm in STL now for a two day meeting. I'll hoist one to his memory.
posted by eriko at 3:32 PM on September 26, 2011


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posted by troll at 3:41 PM on September 26, 2011


That's a damn shame. The City Museum is (as another person said upthread) one of my favorite places on earth, if not my favorite. Haven't been in a while and I hope like hell that it's still open when I make it back to the Lou next. RIP.
posted by friendlyjuan at 4:21 PM on September 26, 2011


Very much a huge loss to a city that needs as many people like Bob Cassilly as it can get.
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:30 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by saul wright at 4:54 PM on September 26, 2011


Bob Cassily was a character. There's a park featuring his sculptures of turtles in St. Louis that the city coated with a shiny protective coating, altering the sheen and color of his sculptures. Soon after, they were vandalized, with phrases like "I've been slimed!" and "I can't breathe!" painted on them. Cassily later admitted to adding the commentary himself.

Cassily saw potential where others saw blight. Stuff that never should have worked on paper became magical, fantastic creations. Some of it was so simple. Some of it was incredibly humorous. Some of it seemed a little dangerous and edgy. The City Museum is geared towards adults and kids alike. Where else in the world can you slide down a refurbished industrial conveyer belt, see stingrays, visit a shoelace factory, sit on the world's largest pencil (that works!) or gawk at the world's largest pair of underwear? Crawl through a tree trunk, visit candle-lit caves, or frolic in a giant ball pit?

He will be missed.
posted by Ostara at 5:42 PM on September 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's awful. As another former St. Louisian:

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posted by Bookhouse at 6:51 PM on September 26, 2011


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I was first in the City Museum two years ago. I didn't feel like 40; I was four years old again.
posted by scruss at 7:06 PM on September 26, 2011


Well fuck.

!
posted by schyler523 at 9:47 PM on September 26, 2011


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The City Museum was part of the reason I fell in love with St. Louis, he will be deeply missed. He was an inspiration and I hope his dream can continue.
posted by teleri025 at 8:01 AM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


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