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By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Historic buildings in Fairmount Park have never looked so delicious!

“The gingerbread houses are done by a variety of chefs,” says Justina Barrett, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s site manager for historic sites in Philadelphia.  “Each one has taken one of the houses or another building.  The Please Touch Museum is here, the Waterworks, as well as Mount Pleasant, Laurel Hill, Woodford, Lemon Hill…”

The gingerbread houses, on display until mid-December at the Shops at Liberty Place, are not only something to behold but also the kickoff of the upcoming Fairmount Park house tours.

James Rodebaugh (below) is executive pastry chef of Brûlée Catering, and the gingerbread masterpiece he created is a scale model of Memorial Hall, home of the Please Touch Museum.

“Very bright and vibrant,” he says of the building.  “We put snowmen and little snowball fights going on in there.  Candy, icing, gumdrops.”

gingerbread rodebaugh  lipton Positively Philadelphia:  Fairmount Park Mansions    in Gingerbread!

(James Rodebaugh made a gingerbread replica of Fairmount Park’s green-domed Memorial Hall. Credit: Lauren Lipton)

Each gingerbread house took hours and hours to create.

“Some have really gingerbready candy, gumdrops, M&Ms decorating them.  Others are doing a more accurate or architectural look at the space,” says Barrett, the museum curator.

The gingerbread houses and the actual houses are something to see, particularly at holiday time.

gingerbread strawb mans Positively Philadelphia:  Fairmount Park Mansions    in Gingerbread!

(The Strawberry mansion, rendered in gingerbread and icing. Credit: Lauren Lipton)


Liberty Place staffers said they hoped to keep the gingerbread houses on display through the first week of December but, because they are perishable, the date was necessarily indefinite.

Information about the Fairmount Park house tours is available at parkcharms.com.

And that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”

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