The City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri, isn’t really a museum. It’s actually a 600,000 square-foot playground housed in a former shoe factory, in the heart of one of America's largest cities. The museum is made almost entirely of recycled industrial debris – a labyrinth of underground cabins, numerous cubbyholes, simulated caves, suspended bridges, and a ten-story tall slide. There are two airplanes perched more than fifty feet up in the air, a 30-foot-high Ferris wheel, and an old school bus hoisted all the way to the top floor. Nearly everything you see there is interconnected with each other with ladders and tunnels, and can be climbed upon. The official website calls the Museum “an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects.”
The site was originally occupied by the International Shoe Company factory and warehouse but was mostly vacant until it was bought by artist Bob Cassilly and his then-wife Gail Cassilly in 1983. He began building the museum in 1995 out of junk discarded by the city. Thousands of abandoned soda bottles and safety deposit boxes were glued together into walls. The colossal door of a former bank vault now leads into a hall of mirrors. Old cement mixer chutes were welded, end-to-end, into slides. In the lobby, thousands of fabric scraps are nailed to the ceiling to make you feel like you're under the sea. Other bizarre and eccentric attraction includes the world’s largest pencil, the world’s largest pair of underwear, a human hamster wheel, concrete whales and and the ever popular “Puking Pig,” which is a pendulum-like pig sculpture that gradually fills with water until it turns over.
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