Location is company’s fifth boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and chef driven restaurant
21c Museum Hotels has opened its fifth property, located at 167 W Main Street in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. 21c Lexington is an adaptive reuse of the Fayette National Bank Building mixing contemporary design with historic Beaux Arts International-inspired details. Bringing new life to the 100-year-old building, 21c Lexington offers 7,000 square feet of contemporary art exhibition space open free of charge to the public, an 88-room boutique hotel and Lockbox restaurant and bar.
“21c Museum Hotel will create more than just a place for Lexington visitors and locals to lay their heads, enjoy a great meal and take in contemporary art exhibitions,” said Steve Wilson, Founder and CEO of 21c Museum Hotels. “We look forward to our role as a cultural center that helps further reinvigorate the downtown Lexington community. We’re thrilled to offer an additional resource for art, social engagement and civic conversations.”
Art at 21c
Contemporary art is at the heart of the 21c experience. The company was founded by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, contemporary art collectors and preservationists who believe in the power of innovative and thought-provoking art to transform communities. 21c Lexington presents rotating solo and group exhibitions, site-specific installations and a full roster of cultural programming curated by Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites.
The property features six permanent site-specific installations integrated into a variety of spaces around and within the building. Collectively titled Elemental, the site-specific collection at 21c Lexington combines form with function, inspired by the elements of our ever-changing natural and human conditions. Lights animated by the weather or linked like human limbs; crystals found in ice and in crystalline caves; shifting desert sand blowing inside a table and images of polished brass embedded in a floor.
Featuring painting, sculpture, photography, video, and film, 21c Lexington’s inaugural exhibition, Dress Up/Speak Up: Costumes and Confrontation (on view through September 2016), includes works by twenty-two artists from more than a dozen countries, including a significant selection of works by Jamaican-born Ebony G Patterson, a faculty member at the University of Kentucky. Bedecked and bejeweled, the figures populating Dress Up/Speak Up occupy fluid space and time, evoking past and present, fact and fiction, memory and desire, to illuminate the complexity of contemporary identity. Docent tours of current exhibitions and site-specific installations are offered free of charge to the public on Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:00 p.m.
Architecture & Design
21c Lexington is housed in the Fayette National Bank building, located in Downtown Lexington’s Historic District. The 15-story building, the city’s first skyscraper, was originally designed in 1913 by architects McKim, Mead and White, famous for the American Academy in Rome and parts of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building represents the Beaux Arts International style of architecture, drawing inspiration from Neoclassical and Greek Revival design. The Main Street building originally housed the First National Bank & Trust Co., and the property continued to be used as a bank into modern times.
The design team, led by New York-based Design Architect Deborah Berke Partners and Pittsburgh-based Executive Architect Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel, embraced the building’s original features to create a space where contemporary and historic meet and contrast. The contemporary design is combined with the restoration of the building’s Ionic order exterior columns, marbled walls, Tennessee Pink marble flooring and vaulted ceilings with ornamental plaster patterns. 21c Lexington is Berke’s fifth collaboration with the 21c Museum Hotels team.
Meetings & Events
The property’s museum space doubles as meeting and event space, and can accommodate a wide variety of events from board retreats and intimate cocktail parties to a reception-style wedding for 350. The Main Gallery, a double-height room with historic arched windows, concrete flooring and velvet drapery, connects with Gallery One, a flexible space that can be used for cocktail hour, buffet set up, lounge seating and more. All spaces feature state of the art audio visual technology.
21c Lexington offers a variety of guestroom types featuring high ceilings, custom contemporary furnishings, contemporary art and abundant natural light. The hotel offers five suites, including the 21c suite and Skylight suite.
A neutral space with original hardwood floors, the 21c suite features two living areas and a separate dining area with a table for six, custom furnishings, bold colors and rich fabrics, a spacious bedroom with a TV that vanishes behind a full length mirror and large windows capturing panoramic views of Lexington. One of the most unique suites, the Skylight suite, features a large skylight above the living area that floods the room with natural light.
Rates for a Deluxe King start at $199.
To celebrate the opening of its newest property, 21c is offering a selection of packages designed to help guests experience Lexington like a local.
Travelers can experience Kentucky’s native spirit with the Just Add Bourbon package, which includes a bourbon flight at Lockbox, breakfast for two at Lockbox, and a set of whiskey stones from 21c Museum Shop; or enjoy Lexington’s growing local beer scene with the Brewgrass package, which includes a Brewgrass Passport, brewery map curated with 21c favorites, and an appetizer and two local beers at Lockbox.
The property is home to Lockbox, which showcases executive chef Jonathan Searle’s commitment to the community’s craft purveyors, high-quality seasonal ingredients and thoughtful yet simple cooking techniques. The menu, which changes frequently, nods to Kentucky’s rich Southern heritage and Lexington’s own cultural and agricultural identities. In the bar and lounge area, guests can enjoy carefully crafted cocktails ranging from approachable aperitif cocktails, to more complex spirit-driven options.
Designed by Deborah Berke Partners, Lockbox’s double-height windows provide plentiful natural light. Marble floors, wainscoting and decorative plaster details serve as the backdrop for the contemporary furnishings and art that occupies the space. Both restaurant guests and passersby will have an open view of the Lockbox kitchen, which features a custom American-made Jade Cooking Suite, allowing seamless collaboration between Searle and his team. Tomorrow’s Weather, an art installation by Stockholm-based duo Biegert & Bergström, changes color depending on the following day’s weather forecast and casts a playful glow over the intimate bar and lounge, which occupies the corner space. Velvet drapery creates division between the dining room and the lounge. The bank’s original safe deposit vault remains intact and has been reimagined as an intimate private dining room with seating for 12.
Local Partners & Leadership
Local partners helped make 21c Lexington a reality. Lexington partners include: attorney and real estate developer, Brent Rice; Alltech founder and president Dr. Pearse Lyons; real estate developer Pat Madden; former University of Kentucky football player Tim Couch; Meridian Wealth Management president Greg Couch; Dixiana Farms owner Bill Shively; and businessman Ron Kirk. 21c remains majority owner of the project.
21c Lexington is led by General Manager Andrew Carter. Ashley Ellis, food and beverage director, oversees Lockbox, as well as all room service and catering.
About 21c Museum Hotel Lexington
21c Museum Hotel Lexington is a combination boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and chef-driven restaurant. Building on its mission of engaging the public with contemporary art and supporting the revitalization of American downtowns, 21c rehabilitated the historic Fayette National Bank Building in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. The 88-room property features 7,000 square feet of exhibition, meeting and event space and presents rotating curated exhibitions, interactive site-specific art installations and a full roster of cultural programming. Exhibition space is open to the public free of charge. The property features a double height main gallery and adjacent pre-function gallery, and a spacious suite on the 15th floor with large windows on three exposures. 21c Lexington is home to Lockbox, led by chef Jonathan Searle, where the restaurant and bar menu focused on locally sourced ingredients.
About 21c Museum Hotels
21c Museum Hotels, the award-winning Louisville, Kentucky-based boutique hotel and restaurant group, was founded by contemporary art collectors and preservationists Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. The couple opened the first 21c Museum Hotel in 2006 along downtown Louisville’s West Main Street, rehabilitating a series of 19th century warehouses. Much more than just a place to spend the night, 21c is an inventive union of genuine hospitality, careful design and culinary creativity — all anchored by a multi-venue contemporary art museum with thought-provoking exhibitions, interactive site-specific art installations and a full roster of cultural programming. 21c operates hotels in Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio; Bentonville, Arkansas; Durham, North Carolina and Lexington, Kentucky. Hotels are under construction in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Nashville, Tennessee. The company is equally focused on creating unique, chef-driven restaurants that are as much a part of the community as the hotel. 21c operates a diverse roster of restaurants including Proof on Main at 21c Louisville, Metropole at 21c Cincinnati, The Hive at 21c Bentonville, Counting House at 21c Durham, Lockbox at 21c Lexington and Garage Bar in Louisville, Kentucky.
For press information contact:
Holly Weyler McKnight