2900 College Avenue, Alton, IL, 62002 / Cake artist: Screwed Arts Collective
The tallest man in recorded history is honored here in Alton, Illinois. Despite of his short life, the man has brought a great legacy, not just to his hometown but Madison County and Illinois. To this day, the Guinness Book of World Records lists him as the ‘World’s Tallest Person’. Sufjan Stevens sang about him, a golf course in Alton is named for him, and there are many statues of him (one in Copenhagen). Greg Maddux once told Guinness that he did a report on him in school.
‘Alton’s Gentle Giant’ was born in 1918 and spent most of his life there. His growth was caused by hyperplasia of his pituitary gland, which resulted in an abnormally high level of growth hormone. By the time Robert was in first grade, his height was 5’1″. At the time of his death, he was still growing. He passed away in 1940 (age 22) of a foot infection, which was caused by an ill-fitting leg brace he wore on tours.
The statue, located across the road from SIUE Dental School and the Alton Museum of History and Art, was unveiled in 1985.
Cake placement date: March 6
Where is the cake now?: The cake was moved to the Alton Museum of History and Art on 1/29/2015; however, it is now in storage and they plan on putting it in a room upstairs in the museum for public display. (February 2018)