September 16, 2015

Preservation is a Piece of Cake for Duff Goldman

Charm City Cakes

You know Duff Goldman as the power tool-wielding baker on the Food Network’s shows Ace of Cakes and Duff Till Dawn. There’s nothing he can’t turn into a cake: cars, shoes, dragons, grandfather clocks.

But this history buff has also turned more than a few historic buildings into edible treats. You can learn more about his methods in the Fall 2015 issue of Preservation, but for now, feast your eyes on these sweet creations.

Charm City Cakes

Goldman’s first bakery, Charm City Cakes, is located in a restored 19th-century church in downtown Baltimore, as seen in the cake at the top of the post. The church had served a number of functions throughout the decades. It was a sewing factory, a wine bar, an art gallery. “The building needed quite a bit of work to get it back into shape, but it was totally worth it,” he says.


Wrigley Field

Goldman has turned several baseball stadiums into cakes, including Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field, pictured here. The 1914 stadium is currently undergoing renovations.


University of Maryland

Davidge Hall at the University of Maryland School of Medicine was constructed in 1812. The National Register-listed building is the country’s oldest medical school building in continuous use.


Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Goldman has also turned the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, with its gondolas and centuries-old buildings, into a cake. “When people order a cake, they want something that means something to them, and a lot of times that’s a building or a place,” Goldman says.


Rockefeller Center

The 70-floor 30 Rockefeller Center, or the Comcast Building, is a 1930s Art Deco skyscraper in midtown Manhattan. “When you shrink [a building] down to two feet high, you’re going to lose a lot of detail,” Goldman says. His trick is to pick the most important details of the building -- its character-defining features -- and put them in the right place at the right scale.


The White House

While the White House has never faced down an alien invasion since it was completed in 1800, Goldman imagined this grim future in an Independence Day (1996) cake. “My job is the best,” he says.

Lauren Walser headshot

Lauren Walser served as the Los Angeles-based field editor of Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about art, architecture, and public space, and hopes to one day restore her very own Arts and Crafts-style bungalow.

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