For the next cake of the day, Miles and I returned to some pretty beloved cake hunting territory – the Delmar Loop. Previously Miles and I had had one of the very first planned cake hunting adventures there seeing the cakes at the St. Louis Walk of Fame, Blueberry Hill and the Tivoli Theater. Later on Miles and I also visited the cake at the Regional Arts Commission. Plus Mercutio even got in on the Delmar Loop cake hunting action when we saw the cake at COCA after seeing a movie at the Tivoli – double whammy!
So with all of these awesome locations already caked-out, where else could be left to celebrate? The University City Lion Gates, of course! The two lions, or, in fact, one male lion and one female tiger that everyone just calls a lion, are the first to usher you into the Delmar Loop and the last things you see as you leave the Loop before heading out into the night…or afternoon/morning, whatever.
And other than being some pretty awesome sentries, they have a pretty great history. The founder of University City, Edward Gardner Lewis, had great plans for the area wanting to create a space that would be a private residential area over which the lions would stand guard as the “Gates of Opportunity.”
In 1909 he commissioned Thomas Young, an architect, to create the design for the lion gates and artist George Julian Zolnay to actually sculpt them out of concrete.
The lion gates served the community well until they fell into disrepair and in 1991 the pylons they are placed atop were shortened and reconstructed and the concrete lions were replaced with fiberglass ones…hmm fiberglass creations…sounds familiar… 🙂 The original lions are now a part of the Missouri Historical Society’s collection.
While the lion gates are pretty difficult to miss, the cake itself was actually incredibly hard to find. The official cake list gave me a strange address for the location of the cake, which I still maintain wasn’t a real address, and which ultimately lead to me circling round and round the roundabout at the entrance to the Loop frantically searching for a cake I just knew had to be there somewhere. Finally after parking the car and walking up and down the sidewalk, I eventually saw the fire tipped pencil candle sticking out of some foliage, and Miles and I walked over to it, victorious at last.
Despite the fact that it had nothing to do with the University City Lion Gates themselves (that I can think of, anyway), the idea for the cake was pretty fantastic. The tiers of the cake were painted with a chalkboard paint and in a little dish next to the cake were pieces of chalk you could use to write on the cake where you went to high school. So of course, I left my mark (St. Joe’s represent!) and Miles left his by deciding he liked the taste of chalk and frantically licking the side of the cake until I pulled him away from it.