Contemporary art as social anchor and cultural capital for regionals cities looking to revive their urban appeal seems to be getting a boost from the 21c chain of art hotels.
These boutique hotels use art as an attraction in cities like Durham, North Carolina and Bentonville, Arkansas. Louisville, Kentucky just opened its branch with more on the way:
Wilson founded 21c along with fellow art collector Laura Lee Brown. Like its other sites, Lexington’s 21c includes a contemporary art museum offering curated exhibitions, interactive installations and planned cultural programming.
The other 21c are in Louisville; Cincinnati; Durham, North Carolina; and Bentonville, Arkansas. The company said two more are under construction, in Nashville, Tennessee, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The Lexington building, 167 W. Main Street, is an adaptive reuse of the 100-year-old National Bank Building. Work began 2014, and the project avoided the fate of the fate of its high-profile neighbor across the way, the city block-wide pit of CentrePointe.
In mid-February, Lockbox, 21c’s much anticipated downtown restaurant and bar, officially opened its doors to the public.
NOW: Lexington’s 21c Museum Hotel officially opens (Business Lexington)