The hometown newspaper, the Lexington Herald-Leader, published a terrific article over the weekend on Louisville's, 21c, a unique museum and hotel, which shows that downtown revitalization is more than the sum of steel and glass.
To build outside the box you have to create experiences.
21c is a 'You've just got to see this!' experience. It's attractive not only for those of us just an hour's drive away, but also for celebrities including Harrison Ford and Julie Andrews, who have been spotted checking out the cuisine and culture in recent weeks. Wanting to revitalize Louisville's downtown, and to create a venue for expanding galleries where contemporary works of art could be displayed, Brown and Wilson gathered a team of experts to help deliver their brainchild into the world in early 2006. Now, they're expanding with a similar project in Austin, Texas, and are looking at possibilities even further afield, in Japan and Croatia....
Lexington's vice mayor, Jim Gray, whose company was involved in the renovation and planning, says: '21c utilized historic Main Street buildings and adapted them in a modern and creative way. But it's more than a building. It represents the experience economy and fully leverages Louisville's history and urban setting. Through the art museum, it brings in everyday citizens through its changing exhibits. Through the hotel and restaurant, it invites locals and visitors to engage each other in a significant and dynamic way.'
Collaborating with renowned garden designer and Kentucky native Jon Carloftis, 21c also installed an organic rooftop at the hotel recently. Sourcing fresh local produce now means "going upstairs," according Carloftis.
When you're in Louisville for the IdeaFestival in September, be sure to check out 21c. It's unlike anything you've ever felt.
Wikipedia: experience economy