Penguins are coming to Cincinnati — yellow penguins, in this case, for the new 21c Museum Hotel, which will be next to the Contemporary Arts Center, across the street from the Aronoff Center for the Arts.
The $45 million project — patterned after the acclaimed 21c Museum Hotel in a series of (red-penguined) renovated tobacco and bourbon warehouses in downtown Louisville — will go in the historic Metropole building.
"Based on our success in Louisville, we realized 21c can enliven the cultural and civic life in urban centers across the country," said Steven Wilson, founder and chairman of 21c Museum Hotels, which are known for their use of contemporary art throughout.
Last month, the 21c in Louisville was named the No. 1 hotel in the United States by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. 21c is also planning to open a hotel in Austin, Texas.
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The 21c in Cincinnati is expected to have 160 rooms, more than 8,000 square feet of free art exhibition space and a restaurant and bar called Proof.
The restoration, designed by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects, is scheduled to begin next fall.