Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Going into Year #2 for the cakes

The Eugene Field House cake as it sits next to the building on 2/6/2016 (on Mardi Gras)

Hello, its been a while since I've written on here. It will almost be two years by the end of February (2016) since the first cakes have been put out. I can't believe it has been that long....then again, it seems like a long time ago at the same time when I was driving through those areas and towns just to get a snapshot with the cake with Ozzie on top. I'm glad people still read this blog, and I highly appreciate those who have taken the time to read the pages.

So I thought I'd share what's new and current in the new year. 2016 has flown by just like that. So far, nothing has really changed in the last few months, as far as cakes. There are still, as of this writing, an estimated 80+ cakes still at their original locations. There are about less than ten that have floated around notable St. Louis areas (I'll get on that later). I have visited some original cake locations from time to time, on my days off. Or if I just happen to be in that neighborhood, I might just go check on that cake to see if its there. I think its cool that these places continue to display their cake (for a list of whose still got theirs, see the 2016 Cake Status page). Last week I was in Belleville and the Emma Kunz and the St. Clair Museum cake still had theirs sitting in front. One of my cake-loving friends said the Eckerts one was there last weekend. Somebody posted to the Facebook Cakelovers group page that the Hardin cake was still out there despite of the recent flood. Some others have posted here and there, so its always nice to see that people still care about the cakes.
The United Hebrew Congregation cake, now behind the building in a circle drive, January 2016

I have sorta lost interest, for various reasons...mostly because there's really no hoopla anymore and most cakers decided to move on and let 2014 be a memory. But there's always that curiosity about what's next. I'll go ahead and say that there is a short documentary being put together about the stl250 cakes. It is not yet finished, and it is still in the process of being edited. I'll go ahead and share some background: About a year ago, Francine Case (StLouis250CakeLovers) decided to put together a short doc about the caking experience. It was her vision to put together stories of both cakers and artists on video, as well as the people behind stl250. She put together a small team, including myself, and she got some Communications students from Webster University to take part in the video portion of it. We pooled ideas together and tried to get many people involved. Some have rejected (mostly cakers), and many were eager to share their story. I was interviewed as well. Once it is finished and published on Youtube, I will share this on the blog with more stories behind it.

And lastly, if you saw any familiar cakes at places - it was no coincidence. The StLouis250CakeLovers, which I am part of, have displayed some cakes in the areas of Dogtown, Cherokee and Old North St. Louis. Rich Brooks also temporarily moved his Soulard Restoration Group cake to Joanie's Pizza (take out place). Brooks has said that people still take pictures with his cakes in front of Soulard Art Market all the time. So at least the caking spirit lives on in a way.

A rare photo of the Warren County Courthouse and Citygarden cakes together outside of Urban Eats

Monday, August 31, 2015

Just a long-awaited update....

Can you guess which cakes are which?

Howdy, visitors and cake enthusiasts! I'm sitting here on this day thinking, 'Has it really been 8 months since the cakes pretty much disbanded from their places?'. Technically it was a bit longer than that as some of them (those that were auctioned off) were taken away early and placed at the Media Commons by Nine Network. On January 1, 2015, it was a new year and a rough new beginning for cakers. Several people found themselves as the new owners of cakes and from that moment on, cakes started disappearing little by little from their places.

As of this writing, there are an estimated 85-90 cakes still placed (in public view) at their original locations. This does not include the ones that are displayed in Maplewood. That's less than 2/5ths of how many were put out. Most of them are in Missouri, but again not many. Same for Illinois. Really the only ones left are four on the 'Northern side' and at least a few in St. Clair County.

So what about the others?

-Storage  (some of the private owners decided to put them away for various reasons. One thing I do find very interesting is that the Daniel Boone and the Lindenwood cake are together in storage)

-Privately auctioned. After the auctions, a few of the places decided to hold their own.

-Given away. A few people were very fortunate to get their own cake for free. Not sure of the many reasons why, but I do trust that the people appreciate the cake for what it is and that they will take great care of it (or them). (As for me, I don't have the room for one! lol)

-Unknown. There are some places whose cakes have just disappeared like that and nobody knows what happened to them. This may also include the people that work for the former cake host. We're all very curious as to what happened to the Busch Stadium cake. I'm sure it will be a cold day in a hot place when we find out. As for me, I'm wondering what happened to the Meramec Caverns cake (since its so far and nobody wants to go out there again), as well as the Edward Jones Dome and the Convention Center cake. I'm speculating that those two are in storage together since the two buildings are linked.

-Repainted. In the last few months, we've seen at least five cakes get a new look. I understand some people are disgusted at this, especially if its not considered respectful in many ways. I say its fair and square if it was sold to the new owner(s), or if it is still owned by that cake-hosting place. Mark Swain re-painted his Centennial Greenway cake and made it into the Saturday Morning Cartoon cake. The Blue Owl recently re-painted their cake for their 30th anniversary celebration. It is said that Greenville, Illinois will be doing the same to mark their bi-centennial.

-Cakewalk display. The Cakelovers (which I am involved in) decided to display cakes around the Maplewood area. I'll explain more at the bottom.

-Destroyed and/or stolen. Yup, it did happen, unfortunately.

But again, the places that still have their cakes out. Many different reasons for that. I have talked to some of the places about what they were doing from there with their cake and not many knew. I remember taking a tour of the GRIOT Museum in the Spring and the lady who worked there said they were going to leave the cake out (to attract more visitors).

I have been busy with projects that have a lot to do with the cakes...more on that later on.

And lastly....please be sure to check out the 2015 Cake Status page (link to the right)! Check out where your favorite cakes are!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Where are they now?

The Cheshire cake on March 2, 2015

Hello, again! This is my first post on this blog of 2015, and I know I'm a bit overdue to make one so I thought I'd give everyone the scoop of what's happening while the cake hoopla continues to die down. I never thought I'd say such thing, but it's been over two months since the stl250 Cakeway to the West has ended. It's sad, but like they say, all good things have to come to an end. There are several memories that were had and many of us 'cakers' would love to do it again (myself included!).

On a good note, about a third of the cakes are still out at their original, or home location. Most of you know a lot of them were auctioned off from, as the proceeds went to improve the Chouteau memorial downtown. By the way, close to $50,000 was raised! About a few of the locations auctioned off their cake themselves, raising money for whatever cause (such as improvements of their place or whatnot). But some of have moved them indoors so patrons and visitors can continue to look at the cake masterpieces. At least a few are in talks of being re-painted by their places, most recently the one at St. Anthony's Medical Center.

But on a bad note, a few of the cakes had a sad ending. Two of them turned up missing/stolen, while at least one was taken to a recycling center. The good news is there are some caring people in the world who are working to preserve all of the cakes that are not just eye candy, but hours spent in hard work from the artists. Just recently, the cake at the Grand Avenue Water Tower was damaged from a snow plowing vehicle and it luckily was saved by a caker, who is repairing it at the moment.

To find out the current status on your favorite cake(s), please check out the new page I created. It is on the right hand side of this blog and the page is called '2015 Cake Status'. I will also be updating all of the cake pages on where the cake is now. It'll be time-consuming, but it will be worth it! You can also check out the website I have created called St. Louis 250 Cake Lovers, at I have been very busy with the page that last three months, packing it with so much information! I hope you find both of these sites useful.

I'll post a few more pages in the coming weeks....stay tuned!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wha....another cake?!

Rich Brooks (left) and Earl Miller work on the latest cake. And yes, that's my Ozzie figurine on top. It's the only time I place him on a cake before completion!

Since its been quite awhile that I've posted on here, I'd like to bring you up to speed. As far as the cakes, there have been plenty of news (good, bad, sad, etc.).
  • Yes, there is a new cake in the works (see next paragraph)
  • 2014 is almost over, and as I write this (on December 15th), some of the cakes will go to people, or high bidders. Short version of the story: I found out two days ago that close to 100 cake location homes are donating their cakes back to stl250. The stl250 organization decided to put them up for auction. Today is the first day for bids, and so far these cakes are now in demand. I'll give you an example: Mark Swain's Tower Grove cake is now at $255! Bids start at $100 for each cake. For more information and how you can bid (as well as seeing a list of what's available and how much you'll have to figure out what's in your bank account!), visit 
  • The Imo's cake still hasn't returned to its original spot after its been gone for two months now (since October). It is still in question if it will ever come back. (sad face)
  • The second traveling cake (the rainbow cake) never made an appearance, at least not in public. Yup, we're still waiting.
  • The cartoon/'Let's Celebrate' cake has made some appearances around the area, including AKC's Museum of the Dog. As I write this, it was at the Edison Theater on 12/13 and 14th. But I don't know if its still there...
  • Sadly, some of the cakes have shown plenty of wear. What to expect, right? Especially after sitting outside all year in different kinds of weather. But I'd like to add that I've seen way too many people let their kids stand and do whatever to the cake. I've also seen more graffiti on some. Have some respect, people!
  • I'm currently working on a website for a small business that I've helped out with for a while, called stl250 Cake Lovers! The website is It is mostly focused on selling crafts, postcards, and many different items that are related to the cakes. I am putting several pictures and information about each cakes (and their locations) on the site, so I'm keeping busy while having fun! I will be continuously posting on that site soon. I've even interviewed Mark Swain and Rich Brooks and the Q-and-A part will be posted shortly. The woman I'm working with, Francine, recently told me that it may replace the current site early next year. If so, I'm very thrilled about that!
Lindsay Harmon (left) and her mother, Gina work on their circles on the 'Reunion cake'
It was decided to use the last cake mold that was lying around the factory. Apparently, there have been fewer extras than expected. Multi-cake artist Rich Brooks decided to use it as a 'reunion cake' (which he calls it). Basically he got some cake artists together and one by one, they have done their 'circles' on the cake. So far, Dennis Babbitt, Danielle Correll and many others have put their final touches on the last cake. It will definitely be a great masterpiece when completed. It's got a full St. Louis theme on top of it! The cake is currently being worked on (and available for viewing) at the Soulard Art Market.
From left to right: Rich Brooks, Lindsay Harmon, Earl Miller, April Morrison and Theresa Hopkins. Photo courtesy of Linda Gurney.

And lastly, I hope you get a chance to stop by Soulard Art Market from now (12/15) to January 17, 2015. Rich Brooks conducted a contest/art exhibition there and he invited cake-hunters to submit up to three great photos of cake locations. The exhibition is called 'Where There's Cake'. As long as there was a cake in the picture, it was acceptable. However, the place that hosted the cake had to stand out more than the cake. The exhibition was not just to serve the cakes, but the 250th birthday of St. Louis as well. I've seen plenty of great pictures so far, and amazing paintings and a sculpture too! Some of those pictures are for sale. Three of my photographs are on display (Kiener Plaza, Christ Church Cathedral and Brown Shoe Co.). Check them out while you're in St. Louis and/or the Soulard area!

Monday, October 27, 2014

#255: Six Flags St. Louis

One of the happiest, funnest (and farthest) places to be in St. Louis is Six Flags! And has been, for 43 years and counting. I would usually make it out there once a year, or maybe every other year since I was about 10. There's never a dull moment there, unless you're like me and getting older, riding those thrill rides seems to suck your energy and wear you out! Nah, not trying to be a downer. But its the closest to Disneyland any St. Louisan can be, and there's always some sort of happy spirit in the air for all ages. It also took me long to get this cake, and had to wait nearly the last minute (see explanation below).

It was the third Six Flags theme park, and it opened near Eureka in 1971. This was the ultimate getaway for any family who wanted to spend the day at the amusement park. It was not, however, the first to be in St. Louis. There are a few smaller amusement parks that once existed before (and now long-defunct). One notable park is the old Chain of Rocks Park which existed for 50 years (1927 to 1977) which provided a carnival-like experience with its own thrill rides, just along the Riverview bluffs. Not surprisingly, Six Flags put them out of business. But Six Flags continues to thrive, year after year, adding (and sometimes subtracting) rides and attractions in the process. There were a few bumps in the road, however, one of them being the Sky-Way ride accident (3 people were killed and 1 was seriously injured when their car fell off the now-defunct ride).

I wish I can describe the full history of the theme park on here, but Wikipedia does it just greatly. Some of the years when certain rides opened surprised me on how long they've been there. I can't believe its been 25 years since the Ninja has been there! And I still can't believe they took away Tom's Twister! Everyone probably has their own memories of riding the rides over the years. I know I sure do. For the record, every time I'm there I always make it a priority to ride the Batman and Mr. Freeze rides at least 3 times both! And yes, I do enjoy going upside-down and going fast and high on those rides. Plus, those two rides usually have the shortest lines, at least when I'm there.

Hurricane Harbor is also a fun part of Six Flags, which was a water park added in 2000. Lots of good food are in sight, including those turkey legs and those 1904 World's Fair-style ice cream cones! You'll also see the shameless plugs of all the Warner Brothers-owned brands and characters. First, you got the Looney Tunes characters, then all the Detective Comics team (hopefully you know who I'm talking about!). In fact, it has already been announced there will be a special Justice League ride for 2015, possibly to coincide with the new movie that will come out at the same time.
The Six Flags company as a whole was founded in 1962 in Texas. The six flags represent the six nations that have governed the state of Texas: Spain, the United States, France, the republic of Texas, Mexico and the Confederate States of America. Today there are Six Flags theme parks all over America, from Chicago to New England, from California to Maryland. Six Flags St. Louis was known as Six Flags Mid-America from 1971 to 1996.
Batman riders are about to go down (what I call) the death spiral drop!
I tried to get as much as I could in the background, not just the fountain. You can see the Colossus there for a bit
This was the third time I attempted to get this cake. Unfortunately on my part, I skipped out on going inside the park this year, as I was trying to limit my budget all year. But I'll be back next year. Anyway, I tried getting the cake twice back in August, after they closed during the week. The guards would not let me in, even to see the cake. I thought it was very shady on their part, as I've heard others have had success stories about getting in while they were closed. So I finally made it all the way out there in late October, during Fright Fest season.

The sides of the cake, which have an animal/zoo-like celebration theme:
Right side of the cake

Back side of the cake

Top of the cake

Left side of the cake
For some cool, vintage photos of Six Flags circa the 70s/80s, I highly recommend checking out this page!

Six Flags St. Louis on FB
Wikipedia link
Official website

NOW: Currently being fostered to take part in a future 'Cakewalk'!

4900 Six Flags St. Louis Railroad, EUREKA, MO, 63069
Cake artist: Don Strohmeyer

Saturday, October 25, 2014

#254: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

It's a sad feeling, and a happy one at the same time. As I write this post on October 25th, today was the celebration of the final stl250 cake placement. About 100 people showed up for the unveiling of the Columbia Bottom cake, not far from the Visitors Center. Several cake-hunters and enthusiasts, the media, Erin B., and the artist (Rich Brooks) attended the event. I didn't get to go, so it was quite a bummer (video may come on here soon! stay tuned...). After getting off work, I did arrive about 3 hours late from when it started. Still, it's the first (and last) time that I visited a cake the day it was placed. But from what I hear, it was a very cool gathering for everyone.

I thought it was even cooler that they put it in at least one of the confluence parks in the northern part of the St. Louis area. To me it would either have been between Columbia Bottom and the Edward & Pat Jones Confluence Park. (I actually visited the latter two days ago and I must say, it was very nice and peaceful) It's great to pay tribute to one of the things that made St. Louis what it is, and that's the meeting of two major rivers in the United States.

Alright, are the facts about Columbia Bottom:

  • The land was purchased in 1997 to create an urban conservation area. It is 4,256 acres.
  • The land includes a 110-acre island, and about 800 acres of bottomless forest.
  • A village/town once existed on the land, called Columbia, which later became St. Vrain. Probably due to obvious reasons (that it was on a flood plain), the town was no more by 1870.
  • One of the missions of the Missouri Department of Conservation (which manages the area) is to help restore the habitat and scenery which matched the voyage of Lewis & Clark.
  • Several activities can be done by the visitors. Hiking, fishing, horseback riding (seasonal) and bird watching are just a few to name. 
  • Many trails can be accessed in this area, and several markers contain information about either history and/or the habitats that venture on the land.

The sign off the road
Visitors center
Just a look inside the Visitors Center
A map of the place (and the cake in the background!)
And did I mention you can access the confluence point between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers?! It is about a few miles from the Visitors Center, but the seemingly long drive to the point is worth looking into. After all, it is one of the very few places in the US where two major rivers meet. I took several pictures of the place, and I wish I can post them all. But here's 3 you may enjoy:

Across from the viewing area is the Edward & Pat Jones Confluence Point State Park

This is an amazing pic of where the Missouri River visibly flows into the Mississippi. If you look very closely you can see the Confluence Tower (on the other side of the river(s)).

The cake sides, which fittingly, feature a Fall theme:
Right side of the cake

Back side of the cake

Left side of the cake

Top of the cake (that is Nancy Raymond in the background, in case you're wondering!)

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area on FB
Wikipedia link
Official website (through the Missouri Department of Conservation website)

NOW: Auctioned off for $505 from On private property.

801 Strodtman Rd, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63138  (it is close to Spanish Lake)
Cake artist: Rich Brooks

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#253: The second Ameren cake

Not many people knew that Ameren had a second cake all along. Story goes like this: since Ameren was one of the most generous sponsors for the stl250 organization, they requested a second cake for just the employees of Ameren. I don't know when they got it, but it was supposedly decorated by the Ameren staff and workers. It was only accessible to the employees and their guests, who were on restricted property. Ameren, by the way, is heavily guarded all around their headquarters. You may already know from experience if you got their official cake outside.

Come early October 2014 and the cake makes a special appearance alongside their 'other' cake. This was believed to be part of the occasion for a get-together (or company picnic, or some such thing) which is usually held this time of the year for Ameren workers. Several, I mean several, scores of obsessed cake-hunters (myself included) hurried the first October weekend to get that cake! It was believed that it was originally going to disappear again. On October 6, it was announced that Ameren will keep their second cake open to the public for the rest of the year. So, it gave people less reason to worry and to add another cake to lists.

This is not an official 'STL250' cake, but I am including it since it is was made on the typical fiberglass cake model used by all the others. Plus, it is so unique in its own way, like all the other cakes. It will probably not be mentioned on the stl250 website cake list. But, while its there, my advice to any caker is to go out there (again) and get a snapshot of it!

Here are the sides of the unique cake, which provide a pictoral history:

Top of the cake
Left side of the cake

Back side of the cake

And lastly, the two cakes side by side:

NOW: Both Ameren cakes are no longer on public display.

1901 Chouteau Ave., ST. LOUIS, MO, 63103
Cake artist: Rudy Zapf  (she decorated the other Ameren cake too)