A great remembrance of Bob Cassilly, who died last week, and who was well known for being a forever kid and player. It’s always great to hear stories of people who never lost their love of play and used it to inspire others; too often this kind of playful exploration and love of sharing it with others is not truly appreciated until after they die or are near death (Jim Henson and Randy Pausch come to mind).
“If you can’t climb on it and you can’t slide on it, what good is it?” asks J. Watson Scott, summing up the approach of the man responsible for the spectacle. Scott knew and worked with Bob Cassilly for decades, and says the artist never lost his inner kid. Today, with many in St. Louis, he’s mourning Cassilly, who died last month in an accident while working on his latest creation.
Cassilly’s City Museum, which opened in 1997, is a fantastical place that features caves, a jungle gym and lots of slides. As the Ferris wheel squeaks in the background, Scott says the artist loved to reuse discarded items to create unique spaces that children and adults could climb over, under and through.
- Bob Cassilly, Playscape Creator Fueled by Whimsy, Dies at 61 (nytimes.com)
- You: Memorial service for City Museum founder Bob Cassilly set for Saturday – STLtoday.com (news.google.com)
- A Purveyor of Outsize Thrills at His Museum of Misfit Toys (online.wsj.com)
- You: Cassilly’s death leaves questions about future of City Museum, Cementland – St. Louis Beacon (news.google.com)