Lawsuit Reveals Vast Profits at City Museum as Battle Continues Over Ownership

city museum 7.jpg
City Museum: As profitable as it is whimsical.
City Museum clears millions of dollars in profits each year, according to financials made public this month in a protracted legal battle that has pitted City Museum founder Bob Cassilly's widow, Giovanna, against her husband's former business partner, David Jump.

In the lawsuit's latest skirmish this month, a St. Louis judge blocked Jump's attempt to seize control of the downtown attraction and the old shoe factory that houses it, International Building Co., from Giovanna and other members of Cassilly's estate.

Prior to his death in a freak bulldozer accident, Cassilly was a 50/50 partner in City Museum and IBC with Jump. Now Cassilly's estate, which includes Giovanna and her two children as well as Bob's two adult children from an earlier marriage, is an equal partner in the two companies. And it's been a rocky partnership since the get-go.

Two months after Cassilly's death, Giovanna complained in court that Jump had changed the locks at City Museum to bar her access to property and company financials she's entitled to review as personal representative of her husband's estate. She's also accused Jump of withholding profits from City Museum and IBC that have made it impossible to settle her deceased husband's estate.

This month Jump at last shared those profits, but they came with a catch.

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13 comments
homyclause
homyclause

We can say that they are making a huge profit from the numbers but what about overhead; the price of insurance, payroll and expansion, which they do constantly. I love the museum, I love the people their and the price is reasonable considering all the attractions. What Dave Jump is doing is making sure that the company survives. Believe me, Jump is a millionaire, he doesn't want the company just for himself or the money. He's probably just trying to keep it out of the hands of "people" who will run it into the ground. If I was him, my thinking would be along the lines of, "I was here from the beginning and refuse to let you destroy a company that I helped build."

judy211
judy211

Is anyone able to see the big picture here. If Jump takes over the Museum without the Cassilly family the museum is doomed. Jump is not an artist. The Museum is a work of art created by Robert Cassilly. The Museum is a creation by a brilliant mind. There are inspirations and themes in his artwork inspired by his widow and children. I would like to see his family carry on that tradition and continue to expand the ever growing Museum. His widow BTW is an incredible artist. I was able to see her exhibits in several galleries over the years and why Jump wouldn't want her as part of that in the growth-design of the museum is beyond me.

morgan.lewis876
morgan.lewis876

What's going on seems obvious. People are shady, and now that Bob is out of the picture, let's push his estate out, too. 

CharlesLyons
CharlesLyons

This is interesting... and frankly, a bit drawn out. This is the first article I've seen that portrays this kind of account on the amount of Jump's 'keep'. I'm not sure why this has gone on for so long. The only people suffering are those of the Museum. People need to stop being greedy.

James Madison
James Madison

Stop bitchin' about how much money someone else makes. Either you like the place and are willing to pay the price, or you do not like it - then it does not matter to you. Those that want things for free need to grow-up. If the City Museum trimmed a buck or two from the admission price, these people will still be complaining, and there would be zero profit for expansion. The City Museum is not stagnant. It is constantly evolving. AND READ THE FULL ARTICLE. He wants the profits re-invested back into the museum! I just want whoever has the controlling share in the museum to keep the place fun and exciting for the kids. You deserve every penny you earn, including the millions!

Emily Malabey
Emily Malabey

And extra to the aquarium part. Is CM a NPO?

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

Can't say I am surprised to see heavy profits. I love the place, but the cost of admission seems steep to me. Then they charge you extra for rooftop access...

Rick Kohn
Rick Kohn

Such a shame one of the city's best attractions has top be smeared over the almighty $$$. Poor Mr. Cassilly must be spinning in his grave

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