Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Lincoln Douglas Square #122

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img_2530.jpgSo there we were again, back in the car waiting for the rainstorm to pass. At this point, both Miles and I had succumbed to the fact that neither our hair nor our fur would ever have enough time to fully dry out on this trip, and we had embraced the hot messes that we had become. So, empowered by the knowledge that the rain was not to be feared but to be enjoyed, we ventured out in the just barely less than pouring rain to check out Cake #122 at Lincoln Douglas Square.

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Cake #122 at Lincoln Douglas Square 

In addition to feeling more alive as each raindrop pushed down my already soaked attempt at a cute hair day, I discovered that the rain was also somehow tempering my fear of mannequins! Because this cake location didn’t just feature one terrifying mannequin, but in fact two mannequins, with the cake directly in the center of their debate. And surprisingly enough, for the duration of my time spent with this cake, I only felt my heart jump in my throat once as I stared into the eyes of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Douglas.

IMG_2531We were in the land of Lincoln, after all, as several signs around town reminded us, and I was eager to learn more about the location of this cake.

In 1858 Abraham Lincoln challenged Stephen A. Douglas to a series of seven debates as they both campaigned for a seat on the US Senate. Each of these debates lasted three hours and was held across the congressional districts. Interestingly enough at the time of the first debate, Lincoln was relatively unknown in the political world, but by the time of the seventh and final debate in Alton, IL, the debates had garnered so much attention that it was attended by about 5,000 people including members of the press and other political figures.

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                     Cake #122 at                                      Lincoln Douglas Square

 

The final debate took place on October 15 in front of Alton City Hall where the memorial now stands. And although Lincoln did not win the seat in the Senate, in 1860 he beat out Douglas for the presidency, so I suppose you could say things turned out for the best.

Despite the rain and the mannequins, I’m a pretty big fan of this cake location and think on it fondly. For me, this cake location brought history a little closer to home. It may just be me, but when I think of many major historical events, I tend to think of them as having happened in a time and place very far away from my own. But this memorial was a great reminder that amazing historical things were happening just across the river, even if they were many, many years before I was born, and that’s a pretty excellent realization.

I was also pretty stoked on this spot because not only was the cake easily viewed from a far enough distance that I didn’t have to risk getting too close to the mannequins to snap a quick photo, but I also have photographic evidence that Miles shares my same hesitancy for all things mannequin:

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Cake #122 at Lincoln Douglas Square 

Note the small pup by Mr. Lincoln’s right foot, tentatively sniffing with his neck outstretched in case he has to make a quick getaway.

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Cake #122 at Lincoln Douglas Square

And so with some dramatic weather related fanfare, our time in Illinois was coming to a close. With some renewed vigor for the final few cakes of the day, we hopped back in the car without even bothering to shake off the rain and headed to our last IL cake and second to last cake of the day.

Every City Needs a City Hall! – St. Louis City Hall #71

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Cake #71 at St. Louis City Hall

          Cake #71 at St. Louis City Hall

As we continued our journey through downtown St. Louis, it was only natural that the next stop on our cake hunting adventure was at one of the most unique and eye catching buildings of that area – St. Louis City Hall.

Not only is this building intriguing to look at (and take pictures of), but the history behind St. Louis City Hall is pretty interesting in its own right. In 1827 the city council members decided to stop having their meetings in barns and local homes and actually build a city hall. This building survived several decades and a fire(!) but was torn down in 1850.

Side view of St. Louis City Hall

               Side view of St. Louis City Hall

A second building was constructed in 1851, but another fire came through in 1856, and this time the building was not lucky enough to escape the flames.

After a couple of decades of working out of an area close by that was nicknamed “The Barn,” in 1889 construction was begun on the building that we know today as City Hall. The building was modeled after the City Hall of Paris (which is probably where a lot of the neat architectural designs came from), and in 1892 the building was not complete but was habitable and the business of government was once again able to take place within its walls.

Cake #71 at St. Louis City Hall

Cake #71 at St. Louis City Hall

In 1904 the building was declared complete although there are still to this day some portions of the exterior that are not fully finished. Still looks incredible to this Cake Monster though!

The building itself really is magnificent, and I was thankful that cake hunting brought us to such an amazing place. Mercutio was pretty stoked too as at this point, as he probably thought that our cake hunting adventure was beginning to wind down for the day…but with several more cakes to go – some even a surprise to this Cake Monster – we were practically just getting started!

Cake #71 at St. Louis City Hall

Cake #71 at St. Louis City Hall