Tuesday, June 24, 2014

#40: University City Lion Gates

There are two cakes that have the 'Where did you go to high school?' theme. That question is said to be mostly common in St. Louis. I have no idea why. That could apply to any other city. So why St. Louis? The answer remains unknown at the moment...

The gates were commissioned in 1909, by University City's founder, Edward Gardner Lewis. The lions on top were sculpted by George Julian Zolnay. For a time, the lions once stood upon 40 feet pylons of limestone. Because the weight caused them to tilt through time, the pylons were reduced to its current size of 14 feet in 1991. By the way, the lions during its 'taller pylon' days were 8 tons of concrete. They are now gone and the ones you'll see in the picture are lighter fiberglass ones. The original lions are now in the possession of the Missouri Historical Society. One thing that hasn't changed: the gates are known as 'the gates of opportunity'.

I'm not sure if this true, but in my opinion it sounds like someone made this up: the lions on top of the gates were the inspiration for the lion statues atop the famous 'clock tower' scenes in the Back to the Future movies. As I write this while doing research on this small subject, I just happen to come across this information. I'll keep y'all posted

Oh look, the Scientology building (once a Masonic place). Maybe Tom Cruise has been there?
This part of Delmar Blvd. (with Trinity, Harvard and Kingsland Aves.) and the area in front of U.C. City Hall has been added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Back in the day it was known as the 'University City Plaza'.
City Hall
Back side of the cake

Right side of the cake

Left side of the cake

Top of the cake
Getting to the cake, you may find it a bit tricky to find. It is sorta hidden behind a bushy, circular area. You will definitely want to park someplace farther and make it a walk. I don't know if the graffiti on it was intentional, but it seems pretty cool that people signed it with chalk along with their graduation year. Diggin' it....

6801 Delmar, UNIVERSITY CITY, MO, 63130
Cake artist: David Jackson

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