Saint Louis, MO

A tribute to the late sculptor, Bob Cassilly, as his vision for Cementland closed a chapter with a sale of the property

CJ Coombs
Cementland (2015).Paul Sableman, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

North of St. Louis, Missouri, a cement factory once sat on 54 acres.

What used to be a public art exhibit in the making was closed to the public. As reported by Riverfront Times on June 3, 2022, the Cementland property was sold.

The man behind Cementland's vision

Sculptor, Bob Cassilly, is also known for creating the St. Louis City Museum in 1997. The museum is one of the popular attractions in St. Louis.

Cementland housed very large concrete sculptures.

Even before Cassilly bought the property, construction companies were dumping dirt there which helped to create a landscape. The funding for the construction of Cementland was absorbed by Cassilly.

Born Robert James Cassilly, Jr. on November 9, 1949, in Webster Groves, Missouri, he became known as an American sculptor, entrepreneur, and creative director.
Bob Cassilly working on a dragon sculptor in Trailnet RiverView Park in St. Louis, Missouri, in November 2008.Trailnet Flickr photostream, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Sadly, Cassilly was killed on the property on September 26, 2011. He was only 61.

It was first reported that a bulldozer he was driving had flipped down a hill. In October 2016, it was concluded by a medical expert that the bulldozer accident was staged and that Cassilly was beaten to death. Interestingly, the machinery wasn't covered in blood as would have been the case if his death occurred in the cab.

As reported in The Riverfront Times in November 2016, police had failed to preserve evidence of a rock or red-stained ground that was at the scene. It was unknown if it was thrown away or not collected. Cassilly's wife, Giovanna Cassilly, was frustrated with the investigation and indicated that analysis would show the bulldozer had never flipped over.

In December 2016, a fire hit a warehouse on the property destroying some of the mold work and art of deceased Cassilly. A previous fire occurred in 2014. A $40,000 reward was offered to obtain information about this fire. Also, Mrs. Cassilly believes her husband was murdered. She offered a $100,000 reward for any information related to the identification of her late husband's assailant.

Even though Cassilly's death was officially ruled an accident, his wife and her attorney have been trying to get his case reopened as a possible homicide.

He saw an art amusement park celebrating the history of cement production in St. Louis, filled with statues and sculptures and old machinery turned into fascinating attractions, and that’s what he began to build in the space. (Source.)

For now, what was once a dream of the late Cassilly of the property known as Cementland is a closed chapter with the sale of the property. According to The Riverfront Times, the remaining property acreage sold for $714,000.

Thank you for reading.

Comments / 1

Published by

Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

More from CJ Coombs

Comments / 0