Wednesday, July 30, 2014

#200: Historic Woods Fort

One of the last cakes put out was in Troy, Missouri. This is the northernmost Missouri cake, but not the farthest from downtown St. Louis. Hardin, Illinois' cake still has that honor! The cake is also the only one located in Lincoln County, Missouri. The county, by the way, is named for Revolutionary General Benjamin Lincoln. Troy was named after Troy, New York.

So what is Woods Fort? It is reportedly where the city of Troy began...

One of the reconstructed log cabins

One of the reconstructed log cabins

  • The land was given to the city of Troy in 1819 by the founding fathers, Deacon Cottle and Zadock Woods (Vermont natives). 
  • A natural artesian spring used to run on this lot but blasting stopped the flow at the time Highway 47 was constructed.
  • The spring provided many resources to the city during its early years. During wartime, there was a fort. 
  • The fort served as protection from the Indians during the War of 1812.
  • It was the headquarters of Lieutenant Zachary Taylor, who eventually became the 12th President of the United States.
  • The cabins were built by Cottle and Woods near the spring. Cottle operated the area's first business, which was a grain mill.

Top of the cake

Right side of the cake

Back side of the cake

Left side of the cake
City of Troy, MO's Official website

Located at the corner of Main and Boone Streets in TROY, MO, 63379
Cake artist: Paul LaFlam

#199: City Museum

The museum call itself an 'eclectic mixture of children's playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel'. Most people who have been here say this museum is anything but. Having been here myself a few times: Yes, you can learn some things! Example: be kind to your knees and wear kneepads when crawling.

1997 was the year this building gave St. Louis something very innovative. Housed in a former International Shoe building, this was meant to be a place where parents, grownups (or whatever you feel like calling them) and kids can both enjoy themselves. Think about an indoor and outdoor playground. Crawling, climbing, sliding, jumping. Yea, it's kind of like that! In season, you can also go up on the roof where there is a giant ferris wheel and the famous 'hanging school bus'.

The museum is also known for its exhibits, which cost extra. The aquarium is famous as well. Many corporate parties have been held here. Concerts too. Ska band Fishbone has performed here. The first three floors, which are generally open to the public, each have a theme (ex: circus partly on 3rd floor). The other top floors are not open, as some of them have been used for housing.

The City Museum was the brainchild of the late Bob Cassilly and his then-wife, Gail. They actually bought the 10-story building in 1983, but it wasn't until several years later they wanted it to be part of reviving downtown St. Louis, especially on the outskirts. Cassilly was mostly known for his sculptures, that were mostly animals. His work can be seen not only at the museum, but in other places as well (see Turtle Park). In 2000, Bob founded Cementland, which focused on repurposing at an old cement factory. In a sad irony, Cassilly was killed in a bulldozer accident in 2011 at Cementland.

The rooftop as seen from a far distance

The International Shoe Co. sign on the left side of the building

The outdoor play area in the front of the building

Hey, what's happening up there?! The hanging school bus, that is. I actually know a couple that got engaged up there.

Outdoor ball pit

Just an outdoor sign

One of the indoor slides, seen when you first come in the place
The cake, which has some unique detail (and is 3-D!):
Right side of the cake

Left side of the cake

Well, I tried to get MOST of the cake's back side
City Museum on FB
Wikipedia link
Official website

701 North 15th Street, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63103
Cake artist: the City Museum staff

#198: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis' iconic only newspaper deservedly gets a cake, and appropriately enough, with the little weatherbird on there! By only, I mean it is the sole remaining printed daily newspaper in St. Louis. There have been other newspapers in St. Louis and still are today, but nothing like the Post-Dispatch. Yes, at one time, there was competition. Remember the St. Louis Sun? Despite of the continuing decline of printed newspapers, the Post-Dispatch is still one of the largest in circulation in the Midwest. They do manage to keep up with the times; that is, with its online alter ego, The website is always the premier first look at what's going on all over St. Louis.

The weatherbird, featured on the cake, is the oldest, continuing cartoon in the United States. It is usually shown on the bottom of the front page with the weather forecast. It debuted on February 11, 1901 by Harry Martin. Albert Schweitzer first drew the bird in color in 1981.

The big building where the job and the writing gets done

Something you'll find all over the city

The front entrance
  • Founded in 1878 by Joseph Pulitzer.
  • Newspapers before the P-D were the St. Louis Dispatch (founded 15 years before) and the St. Louis Post, which was only 3 years old. They were merged when the two went bankrupt.
  • Pulitzer wanted a liberal theme, and focused on issues such as political corruption. Today it covers both conservative and liberal views.
  • Two more generations of Pulitzers ran the paper, years after Joseph's death in 1911.
  • Previous locations of the Post-Dispatch include 111 North Broadway (1878-1882) and 513-515 Market Street (1882-1888). It was also at one time located on Olive Street. 
  • Originally an afternoon newspaper, it switched to morning in 1984.
  • Popular columnists include Bill McClellan, Bernie Miklasz and Brian Burwell (sports) and Kevin Johnson (music/nightlife)

Right side of the cake

Back side of the cake

Left side of the cake
NOTE: The former Olive location was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch/STL-Today on FB
Wikipedia link
Official website

900 N. Tucker Blvd., ST. LOUIS, MO, 63101
Cake artist: Dan Martin

#197: Ashley Street Power House/Riverfront Trail

Facts about the Ashley Street Power House:
  • It was constructed in 1902 by architect/engineer Charles Ledlic. 
  • It was the first large electrical power plant to be erected by Union Electric (later became Ameren). 
  • The building was intentionally placed near the Mississippi River.
  • Designated as a City Landmark in 1971.
  • Even though still in use, the building is currently not open to the public as of this writing.

Right side of the Ashley Street Power House building

Hey wait, that's my shadow! Dang it
Next to the building is the southern starting point for the Riverfront Trail. The trail is 11.8 miles long and it ends at the point of the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. Considered as an 'urban trail', there are many buildings it passes, plus wildlife is seen. The Riverfront Trail parallels the Mississippi River. One of the major stops on the trail is the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing.

Left side of the cake

Back side of the cake

Right side of the cake
Unfortunately at this time there is no official website for either the Riverfront Trail and the Ashley Street Power House.

Located at the corner of Biddle and Leonor K. Sullivan streets
Cake artist: Theresa Hopkins

#196: Emmis Communications

Emmis Communications is so far the only cake location that houses radio stations. They own four FM radio stations in St. Louis (see below). The St. Louis branch of Emmis operates at The Powerhouse building, just behind Union Station. Former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog once owned a restaurant that sat where the Powerhouse building is now. Emmis' headquarters is in Indianapolis, and they own several radio stations and magazines in the United States, as well as in Slovakia. It was founded in 1980 when Jeffrey Smulyan bought his first radio station in Shelbyville, IN. The company has owned stations in cities like Austin, Atlanta and Honolulu. Of course, when owning stations, regardless of format, there is plenty of controversy to go around. It has mostly happened with incidents in their past and current stations in New York.

Not surprisingly (at least to me), they are ranked within the Top 50 Best Places to Work by numerous publications. Speaking from experience, I know that for a fact! I was never an employee there, but at one time, I was an intern for Emmis. I interned under George Depper, who was the EEO Director at the time, as well as a board operator on 97.1 FM. The summer of 2002 was one of my all-time best summers. Sure, it was work. But it was a cool experience I won't forget. Things have changed over the years, especially 12 years later, as far as people and ownership. I have been a professional in radio for almost 13 years. It was always a happy and busy atmosphere all over that place. But as I said, things did change through time. In 2002, local morning-show hosts Steve and D.C. were the kings of that place, as well as their cast and crew. You also have (what I call) a 'spin-off' talk-show, Dave Glover Show, on 97. 1 FM Talk. (Glover, a South Roxana resident, was Steve and D.C.'s attorney and was featured on their show a number of times)  Dave's show is one of the most-popular drive-time talk shows in St. Louis. I have memories of hanging around the studio during that time of the day. Probably the most thrilling were doing my production duties and, of course, hanging out and conversating with local legendary DJs: Guy Favazza (aka Favazz), John Ulett (aka The U-Man, also the Cardinals' stadium announcer) and Mark Klose. I think its time I put another resume there...

Front entrance
KSHE 95:    'Real Rock Radio' is what they are. Since 1967, they have been known to be 'the rock of St. Louis', or in other words, the place to go for listeners to hear hard rock and classic rock for the longest time. Throughout the day the station plays a blend of classic, hard, and new mainstream rock. Sammy Hagar, who has appeared in the station's commercials, often visits when he's in town (that's usually at least once a year). REO Speedwagon has credited KSHE for helping them become famous. The station has brought the sounds of Rush, Ted Nugent, Van Halen, and several heavy bands to the airwaves of St. Louis. KSHE's mascot, is Sweetmeat, the pig that sometimes has the joint hanging from his mouth. KSHE has been owned by Emmis since 1984. Its tower is located in Crestwood.

KPNT 105.7:   Dubbed 'the point' since its inception in 1993, it has been St. Louis' premier alternative/modern rock station. However, over recent years they have shifted towards a 'heavier' and/or 'active' rock format, but a genre that still manages to be classified as 'alternative'. Every year, they bring a day-long festival called 'Pointfest' to Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre. In the last few years they have brought it up to twice a year because of its popularity. The station's transmitter is in Collinsville, IL.

KIHT 96.3:   'K-Hits 96 FM' was started in 1994, as over the years that position on the radio dial has been through numerous formats. For 20 years now, it has stayed with its '70s and 80s rock' format, mostly classic and pop rock. In its first few years it was competing with its now-sister station, KSHE. K-Hits and The Point were both purchased by Emmis in 2000. The station's transmitter is in Shrewsbury.

KFTK 97.1:   '97.1 Talk FM'  Another position on the dial that has been through many formats, Emmis also purchased this station in 2000. The experiment was to create an FM talk-radio station that would appeal to certain audiences at the time. Over time, it would be leaned toward mostly conservative-leaning listeners. This is the only station in St. Louis that has more than one nationally-syndicated talk shows. Bill O'Reilly and Shawn Hannity have their shows broadcasted here, as well as local favorites Dave Glover and Dana Loesch. KFTK's transmitter is located in O'Fallon, MO.

Top of the cake

Right side of the cake

Left side of the cake

Left side of the building
I took this photo near the foyer (close to the office) inside Emmis. Date is unknown, possibly mid-2000s. There is a special picture hanging on the wall featuring Billy Joel posing at the old KSHE studios in the 1970s. I don't know if that picture still hangs there.
401 S. 18th Street, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63103
Cake artist: Joe Chesia

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#195: James S. McDonnell Planetarium

The last one I got in Forest Park. I almost came here a month before while getting numerous cakes in Forest Park. I was at the Jewel Box when it suddenly rained hard and that put my cake-hunting on hold. But I managed to come back to snag this one.
The candle and top

Right side of the cake

Back side of the cake

Left side of the cake

  • Named for the aviation pioneer and McDonnell Douglas co-founder.
  • It is part of the St. Louis Science Center, connecting it with the bridge that is seen on I-64. 
  • Located on the site of an old mounted police station
  • Building was opened on April 1, 1963
  • One of the main features of the planetarium is the Orthwein StarBay. It shows a view of what the night sky 'technically' looks like showing thousands of stars which actually exist, but without the interference of city lights, pollution and weather.
  • On the first Friday of each month, the planetarium shows a free public telescope viewing at nighttime.

The entrance and the cake

Official website

Located near Clayton Road and Faulkner Drive in Forest Park
Cake artist: Sarah Cross