21c Museum Hotel review - Lexington, USA
21c Museum Hotel’s winning hotel-contemporary art museum-restaurant hybrid has added a fifth property to its growing portfolio. Located in Lexington, Kentucky, the latest property has opened in the historic Fayette National Bank Building in the city’s downtown. With 88 rooms and 7,000 square feet of exhibition, meeting and event space, the hotel will sport site-specific art installations, a full programme of cultural events and seasonal art exhibitions, just like its siblings.
In Lexington, the hotel showcases six site-specific installations that will be present year-round. It also opens with the exhibition, ‘Dress Up/Speak Up: Costumes and Confrontation’, featuring creations of 22 different artists. Docent tours are available and admission is free of charge to the curious on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The 100-year old Beaux Arts-inspired building was designed in 1913 by McKim, Mead and White. Lovingly restored by Deborah Berke Partners and the Pittsburgh-based firm Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff, some of the building’s most distinguishing features include a Tennessee Pink marble floor, Ionic exterior columns and vaulted ceilings adorned with ornamental plaster motifs. Guestrooms have been treated as neutral living spaces, with hardwood floors, contemporary furnishings, contemporary art (of course) and are flooded by natural light.
The hotel is also home to Lockbox, which doles out Southern Kentucky fare that casts local, specific ingredients into the limelight. Helmed by chef Jonathan Searle and designed by Deborah Berke Partners as well, the airy elegant space is filled with sumptuous velvet drapery, a weather-oriented art installation by artists Biegert & Bergström and the bank’s original safe deposit vault (now a private dining room) to boot.