Located at the intersection of Boyle and Olive, St. Louis, MO, 63108 / Cake artist: Theresa Hopkins / Cake sponsored by Laclede Gas
From the late 1950s to the late-1960s, the hottest place to be in St. Louis was Gaslight Square. It got its name from the gas lit street lamps (more than 100 of them) that graced that section. It was two blocks of several taverns, restaurants, shops, cabarets, etc. Originally it was to give the person a taste for old-fashioned, 1800s Victorian look but with a youthful feel. That’s where the arts came in, with plenty to choose from: poetry, shopping, comedy, dining and dancing. There was also the music, which was diverse from place to place. Jazz, rock and roll and blues were heard in several places. Gaslight Square is also noted for being the place where several entertainment legends started their careers: Phyllis Diller, George Carlin, the Smothers Brothers, Barbra Streisand and Gregg Allman.
Unfortunately, Gaslight Square started to decline rapidly in the mid-1960s. Several factors led to the end: Crime was a major issue, but historians note that it was mostly urban decay. By 1972, it was a ghost town, as 90% of the businesses either moved or were no more. Today, some of the buildings survived, but apartments and condos have replaced most of them.
Cake placement date: May 8
Where is the cake now?: The cake continued to sit at its original location by the pillars until March 2017, when it was last spotted. It is no longer there; its whereabouts are unknown. (May 2017)
Here is an episode of Living St. Louis about the rise and fall of Gaslight Square: