I had never heard of the 21c Museum hotel in Louisville, Kentucky before reading about their planned renovation of the old Metropole Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. Currently, the Metropole apartment building serves low-income tenants, but soon renovation will begin to transform the site into a lavish hotel featuring the finest contemporary art.
Apparently, the Louisville 21c Museum Hotel ranks among the best in the in world. As quoted on the hotel's website, William Weathersby, Jr. of Architectural Record describes the 21c Museum as "creatively balancing art and commerce," going on to say, "the hotel is a community crossroads that breathes new life into a rebounding urban corridor." I must admit that the idea of housing a contemporary art museum within, and throughout, a hotel is innovatively compelling, but I cannot help but wonder how the free museum might be impacted if the luxury hotel ever fell upon hard times. Cincinnati, like so many cities in Ohio and the rest of the Rust Belt, has certainly seen its fair share of hard times and lagging tourism, but kudos to them for investing in a brighter future.
For now, it seems the arts district in downtown Cincinnati will be receiving a very high-end shot in the arm from the new 21c Museum, while at the the same time the current low-income and less fortunate residents of the existing apartments will have to relocate to a no doubt less up-and-coming address.
Metropole to become world-class hotel | cincinnati.com | Cincinnati.Com
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