Potsdam architect builds old Canton Harrington Hotel out of gingerbread
Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 6:25 am

CANTON -- Think of gingerbread houses and your thoughts probably go to snow-like frosting, candy-coated roofs, and gumdrop light posts.

When Potsdam architect Rebecca Weld began thinking about her entry for this year’s Sugar & Spice Gingerbread Contest at TAUNY, a different image crept into her head. “Shortly after last year’s gingerbread contest, I was researching a project in Canton when I found a photograph of the old Hotel Harrington in the SLC Historical Association archives,” Weld explains

“I was astounded to find that it had once stood where the H&R Block building is now, with the Family Dollar parking lot a lawn that stretched down the river.”

The result of her fascination with the building, which was built in 1864 and demolished in 1957 to make way for a gas station and later a grocery store, is an extraordinary rendering of the hotel made of gingerbread and other edible materials.

“It’s made almost completely of gingerbread and royal icing,” Weld explains. “I used some cocoa and coloring to dye the gingerbread and icing.”

“It’s as much an architectural modeling project as a gingerbread one,” says Weld. It took between 100 and 120 hours to build her version of the hotel, including creating drawings from available pictures.

“Over the months I became obsessed with recreating this elaborate brick hotel in gingerbread,” she says. “I wanted to share this great building with others!”

Weld’s rendering of the Hotel Harrington will remain on display with other gingerbread houses at The TAUNY Center and North Country Folkstore, 53 Main St., until the Sugar & Spice exhibit closes on Thursday, Dec. 23. Holiday hours are Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information visit www.TAUNY.org.