This is a birdhouse replica of the Culver Inn that once graced the north shore of Lake Maxinkuckee on the beautiful campus of The Culver Academies. Built in the 1870's, The Inn was the setting for countless formal and informal gatherings of visitors, alumni, students and parents. Originally named the Palmer House, it was later renamed The Maxinkuckee Inn in 1932. It became The Culver Inn in 1954. Due to financial losses, the Inn was allowed to fall into disrepair in the 1980's. Much to the disappointment of many alumni, faculty, staff and local residents, the Inn was demolished in 1992 to make way for the new Huffington Library. The Inn holds great sentimental value for generations of Culver alumni and parents who have fond memories of quiet dinners with family and friends in the Inn's restaurant, lively conversation among faculty and students in the "Shack" snack shop, or relaxing on the spacious porch overlooking Lake Maxinkuckee.
Since The Inn no longer exists, we spent about a year searching for photos of all of the different angles of the structure. There were surprisingly few photos available from the archives of The Academies, the local public library, the local newspaper, etc. The photos that were available were mostly shots of the lobby entrance or the lakeside portion of the building. We eventually learned that a former Culver Inn waitress, Jan Sanders, had videotaped the entire interior and exterior of the building just before it was demolished. Jan was kind enough to loan the video to us which made replicating The Culver Inn a reality.
This Culver Inn replica took over 300 hours to construct over a period of two and one half months. A second Culver Inn replica is currently under construction. This replica will be auctioned at the Culver Academy's upcoming Parent's Association Auction in September 2006.