A giant shovel in Bentonville and Louisville. (Mark Cloud, left; Branden Klayko, right)
A giant shovel in Bentonville and Louisville. (Mark Cloud, left; Branden Klayko, right)
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While no one likely wants to reminisce on the the biggest development casualty of 2011 (perhaps the decade?) on what must now be considered a cursed site that not only killed REX’s Museum Plaza, but also I.M. Pei’s Vencore tower in the 1990s, a small piece of the the building that propped up Louisville’s hopes and dreams lives on in the form of a giant shovel. On December 6, the 21c Museum Hotel broke ground on their third location Bentonville, Arkansas, and the giant shovel that so triumphantly fell from the sky to break ground on Museum Plaza gave it a second go around.

We spotted the shovel via Twitter where Mark Cloud posted a photo of the construction site. The new building is designed by NYC-based architect Deborah Berke, who handled the renovations at Louisville’s flagship location and another 21c finishing up in Cincinnati, OH.

Rendering of the 21c Bentonville. (Courtesy 21c)
Rendering of the 21c Bentonville. (Courtesy 21c)

From the 21c’s Bentonville groundbreaking press release:

Building on its mission of engaging the public with contemporary art and supporting the revitalization of American downtowns, the main focal point of 21c Bentonville will be 12,000 square feet of museum, meeting and event space. The museum exhibits the work of living artists and is open free of charge to the public. An outdoor sculpture garden will complement the interior museum galleries. These spaces serve as a key link in the emerging arts promenade that connects downtown Bentonville to the brand new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The 100,000 square foot property will also feature a 125-seat restaurant, spacious ballroom and state-of-the-art meeting and board rooms as well as outdoor spaces for private functions. The hotel will incorporate 104 guest rooms—including a one-bedroom 21c Suite with a terrace—that embrace the founders’ ethos of “living with art.” The design integrates extensive natural lighting throughout and 21c will provide bike rentals and lockers to both staff and guests.

More info here.

Rendering of the 21c Bentonville. (Courtesy 21c)
Rendering of the 21c Bentonville. (Courtesy 21c)
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