Thursday, June 26, 2014

#89: Mercantile Library

Here's another cake that was verrrrry tricky to find. I took the Metrolink which stopped in the middle of the UMSL (University of Missouri-St. Louis) campus. I set out to get both the cakes that were located here on campus. All I had was the map with me. I didn't even know this was an indoor one. So, I was walking around the campus sidewalks looking dumb, and finally I started hitting the buildings asking staff where the cake is. Nobody knew. Finally I hit the familiar-sounding Mercantile Library, and then I hit gold. The library staff at the front desk knew right away where to guide me!

The Mercantile Library is one of the most interesting places and museums I have visited. The cake is placed in the basement, where several types of collections are held. First, you have the John W. Barringer III Railroad Library. Name explains it all, everything you want to know about railroads! Next up is a pictorial history of St. Louis, going back to the 18th century! A purported diary with Auguste Chouteau's writings is also in the library's possession. There is also a Presidential section, which features memorabilia from past U.S. President elections. With me being a Presidential trivia nerd, I was in heaven. This also featured stops from Presidential candidates when they came to St. Louis to campaign. Remember, this was all hidden in the basement!

This was a sign above the staircase leading to another basement beneath the library

Entrance upon going into the basement

The railroad part

The 'Presidential section'

  • Founded in 1846, as it was located at the corner of Pine and Main Streets. (The Jefferson Expansion Memorial Park sits there now)  
  • It is the oldest library west of the Mississippi River.
  • It moved to a new location in 1854, where it was at Locust St.
  • The library moved to its new and current place (the Thomas Jefferson Library building) in 1998.
  • The St. Louis Symphony played its first concerts there.
  • In 1861, a meeting was held for the Missouri Constitutional Convention to vote to stay in the Union at the beginning of the Civil War. Another meeting took place years later (1865) to vote for the abolishment of slavery.
Back and right side of the cake

Right side of the cake

The boat on the top of the cake

Back and left side of the cake

Cake is located on the campus of UMSL (address is 1 University Blvd., ST. LOUIS, MO, 63121)
Cake artist: Decorated by the staff and students of UMSL and the Mercantile Library

Wikipedia link
Official website

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