Think your gingerbread house is impressive? Chances are it's got nothing on the gingerbread bank erected by PNC Financial Services Group.
As part a promotion for its annual Christmas Price Index, PNC this month displayed what it calls the world's first gingerbread bank. The pop-up branch was open Dec. 4 through Dec. 6, at the Penn's Landing waterfront district in Philadelphia, equipped with PNC staff, a gingerbread-covered ATM and a cocoa and cookie bar.
It took six months to build the gingerbread branch, PNC said. Most of that time was spent completing the design and finding prototype materials. Baking and construction took less than a month.
So, what goes into a gingerbread bank? A wooden frame was used to give the branch a sound structure, but the rest was made from real gingerbread and silicone-based icing, all applied by hand.
Altogether, 2.5 tons of real gingerbread was used. Philadelphia's Bredenbeck's Bakery handled the baking, with a staff of 12 bakers and pastry artists. PNC has a website that lets you participate in an "augmented reality" version of the gingerbread bank.
The Gingerbread Branch's decorations were inspired by the "The Twelve Days of Christmas" carol. The song serves as the basis for the Christmas Price Index, which measures the true cost of Christmas, based on what it would cost to purchase the goods or services listed in the tune, from French hens to gold rings.
The total PNC Christmas Price Index, which PNC created to help educators teach children about basic economics, rose about $198 year-over-year to $34,130.99. The Index is typically pegged to the actual Consumer Price Index.