Skip to site content
The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

21c Museum Hotel Opens in Lexington, Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — 21c Museum Hotels has opened its fifth property, located 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 to the public, an 88-room boutique hotel and the Lockbox restaurant and bar.

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 the 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.

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 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 setup, lounge seating and more. All spaces feature state-of-the-art audiovisual technology.

21c Lexington offers a variety of guest-room types that feature high ceilings, custom contemporary furnishings, contemporary art and abundant natural light. The hotel offers five suites, including the 21c suite and the Skylight suite. Rates for a deluxe king start at $199. 

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, reflects Kentucky’s rich Southern heritage and Lexington’s own cultural and agricultural identities. In the bar and lounge area, guests can enjoy a wide range of carefully crafted cocktails, from approachable aperitif cocktails to more complex spirit-driven options.