Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Tribute to "Mr. Chips"

If you've ever spent a few minutes in the Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge, you may have noticed something peculiar. While most of the wood carvings around the Inn are impeccable, a stretch of wooden beams and cornices near the bar remain unfinished - bearing only the black marker outlines of what would have one day been carvings.
The late Alexander Zeller, a renowned Bavarian woodworker from Munich, Germany, was the artist responsible for the intricate wooden carvings throughout the Inn. Nicknamed "Mr. Chips," he had been commissioned by churches, public buildings, commercial businesses, and numerous individuals to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind works of art. In the early sixties, he was hired by Mr. and Mrs. Madonna to sculpt an array of wooden masterpieces for the newly-constructed Inn.
Unfortunately, Mr. Zeller fell ill shortly after the Inn's grand opening in 1961 and passed away before he was able to finish all his projects. Although this meant that the woodwork near the Silver Bar wouldn't be completed, Mr. and Mrs. Madonna felt that leaving the work unfinished was the proper tribute to "Mr. Chips."

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cherubs, Cakes, and Dinosaurs?


Madonna Inn is synonymous with many things. "Pink," "cherubs," "waterfall bathroom," and "cake" come to mind pretty instantaneously, but many are not so quick to associate MI with dinosaur fossils... until now, that is!

Outrageous as it may sound, Madonna Inn is currently home to two fossils which are nestled inside boulders used in some of the rock work between the Steak House and the Silver Bar. Legend holds that there were once three fossils until one extraordinary specimen was removed and given to a museum! Next time you're in for dinner or a drink make sure to check out this little piece of history.