The Carnegie has hit upon a successful new marketing gimmick: free food.
At its CAKEitecture event last weekend, staffers stopped counting when the crowd reached 2,000. Jonathan Gaugler, media relations manager, said the staff thinks the party may well have been the museum's best-attended after-hours event in its history.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Heinz Architectural Center, The Carnegie paired five architectural firms with local bakeries to design architecture-themed cakes (see here: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/food-column/food-column-let-them-build-cake-then-eat-it-673728/). Subjects ranged from the local (Fallingwater, East Liberty's Motor Square Garden, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) to the international (the Sydney Opera House and a modernist house in Holland).
The judges' favorite was Fallingwater, designed by Loysen + Kreuthmeier Architects and Prantl's Bakery. The people's choice, a Mister Rogers' Neighborhood/Pittsburgh mash-up by the Young Architects Forum and Dozen Bake Shop, even included a running trolley.
But the free cake and ice cream weren't the only draw. The cakes were housed in the museum's Hall of Architecture, but the crowd also spilled upstairs for a video presentation and exhibition celebrating the architectural center's birthday -- and folks seemed as enthusiastic upstairs as down.
"We were thrilled and happy that so many people got so excited about it," Mr. Gaugler said.
Rebecca Sodergren: email@example.com and on Twitter @pgfoodevents.