Gingerbread Project 2007
Chicago Water Tower
In 2007 the design team was laying on the beach, working through a 30 pack of sliders, when someone noted that the image of the tower on the slider box looked quite a bit like the hometown water tower. After a bit of research, they found out that the inspiration for the tower on the sliders box came from Chicago’s original water tower. Wiki article here.
After the St Patricks Day parade, they ventured over to the old tower in Michigan Avenue and sketched out the design specs. When sketchs were made, and measurements confirmed, the retired to the friendly confines of the Billy Goat Tavern to layout the plan for the 2007 Gingerbread Project.
The original plan was to incorporate the Water Tower and adjacent Chicago Avenue pumping station into the 2007 Gingerbread plan. Upon touring the pumping station, the design team realized that the pumps were no longer powered by steam. Disappointed that they would not need to build a small steam boiler for this years’ gingerbread house, the team reluctantly decided to limit the design to only the Water Tower.
Construction began in the fall of 2007. Some of the expertise developed during the previous year can be seen in this years project. The stained glass design was improved by using a higher tensile strength sugar. This allowed for a stronger window to withstand starlight mints hurled across the room during the Christmas party.
In the last picture you will see a small cow on the front lawn in front of the water tower. This is an exact re-creation, in everlasting marzipan, of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. This is the same cow that kicked over the lantern, which burned down the city of Chicago, leaving very few structures standing…and you guessed it one of those structures was the stone Chicago Water Tower. One thing you can just about guarantee with each year’s gingerbread project is a bit of history.