AccorHotels today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire 85% of 21c Museum Hotels, an award-winning hospitality management company pushing the boundaries of the museum and hotel worlds to create a new kind of travel experience. 21c combines a multi-venue contemporary art museum, boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants, with 11 properties currently open and under development across the United States.
21c Museum Hotels was founded in 2006 in Louisville by philanthropists and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. The pair had seen the region’s farmland and rural landscapes fall to development while the historic buildings of Louisville’s downtown sat vacant. Inspired by the idea that art can ignite urban revitalization and catalyze civic connection, Brown and Wilson rehabilitated a series of 19th century warehouses in Louisville’s downtown arts and theater district to open the first 21c Museum Hotel.
The success of the Louisville flagship created opportunities for expansion; today the company operates eight 21c properties in Bentonville, Cincinnati, Durham, Kansas City, Lexington, Louisville, Nashville and Oklahoma City, with 3 more in development in Des Moines, Miami and Chicago. 21c Museum is one of the largest contemporary art museums in the United States, and North America’s only collecting museum dedicated solely to art of the 21st century. Open and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 21c’s exhibitions and programs are free to the public. Each property remains an innovative union of genuine hospitality, thoughtful design, artistic expression and culinary creativity.