Webster University is more than just my almost-mater, it was also the site of not one, not two, but three cakes! The second of these three was at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts, just a short drive and pleasant walk from Cake #103’s random placement by a parking garage.
Completed in 1966, the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts was the first location in the United States that was specifically designed to be the home of both a professional acting company and an undergraduate department of theater arts.
The performing arts center gets its name from both the Sisters of Loretto who founded Webster University and Conrad Hilton, of hotel fame, who was a former student at the university, and who donated the majority of the funds needed to build the center in gratitude for the education he received there.
So in addition to being a great learning tool for the theater arts department, the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts is also home to both the Repertory Theatre (The Rep) and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, which also happens to be the location of the third cake, but that adventure comes much later.
This Cake Monster has only been to one performance at the Rep which happened to be on a date with a high school boyfriend, but that hasn’t stopped the adventures at this location.
On the day Miles James and I traversed the campus in search of the cake, there was some sort of excitement going on as the lawn in front of the cake was littered with white plastic chairs in neat little rows although there were no people around to occupy those chairs.
Even so, Miles James was quite preoccupied by all the new and interesting smells around, and so the picture-taking portion of the hunt was a little difficult to pull off.
Additionally the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts also holds a very special place in my heart because for a week in October of 2014 the Regional Arts Commission held their own scavenger hunt by hiding specially carved pumpkins around St. Louis and tweeting out clues about their locations. And it just so happens that a few months after my adventure with Miles James, on my actual birthday, to be exact, I was led back to the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts to find one of the last pumpkins of the hunt.
By my birthday that year, I was mostly finished with my cake hunt, but when I returned to the office after using my lunch break to find the carved pumpkin, my co-workers had some delicious birthday snacks waiting for me, including a super creative and ultra memorable handmade Cakeway to the West edible cake – complete with a picture of Miles toothpicked to the top!