Three words that describe the Kapok Tree Inn, gaudy, charming and unique. Built and opened in 1957 by musician and restauranteur Richard B. Baumgardner, in Clearwater Florida. The vision for the Kapok was of grandeur and lavish Roman inspired statuary, with the hopes to make visitors feel they were in scenic Italy. Operating as a five star restaurant with 12 dining rooms, the Kapok became a notorious tourist destination. Visitors could take in a five course meal and afterwards take memorable photographs in front of the massive fountain/ waterfall, adorned with massive marble Roman Goddesses.
The Kapok Tree Inn inherited its name from the existing tree it was built next to. The tree was brought from India and planted in the late 19th century by Robert Hoyt, a local citrus grower.
Today the Kapok Tree is an event venue and few pieces remain from the original Kapok Tree Inn. Schiller’s has been lucky though and was able to acquire from two private collections some original ornate concrete and a large Italian marble urn.
The marble urn which was carved by the famous Italian sculptor, Morselletto from Vencenza, Italy, is a perfect example of his masterful work. Adorned with male and female figures that represent famous Roman Gods, all incased in grape vines with a backdrop of stunning Italian marble. The urn stands at a impressive 5′ tall and a top opening of 40″ diameter!
If you can’t make the trip to Clearwater then stop into Schiller’s to catch a glimpse of a prime example of the Kapok Tree in all its glory!