Ginny's Adventures 2010 travel blog

entrance to the Visitor Center of the Gardens

public entrance to the Pinewood Estate where Bok spent his winters

Formal front entrance

back southwest corner shows some decorations

back center of house opens up to large yard and good view...

Exedra is a round bench that was given to Bok from friends

view from the Exedra

looking to the south shows lakes in the area

finally, the Bok Tower

wow - these are real living plants!

swans were constantly picking at themselves

neat sundial on south wall of tower - clock not turned back...

view from the base of the tower looking south

had to get the whole southern wall

intricate and interesting windows where the bells are

original carillon is now in visitor center

model showing what's inside the tower

top half lit up to see the bells

ground floor was Bok's office! Only if you are a high level...


I had business to attend to in Lake Wales and it is 75 miles from here, so I went today. It took two hours to get there, but while my mat was being repaired, I spent the afternoon visiting a National Historic Landmark on one of the highest points in Florida, the Bok Tower and Gardens on Iron Mountain.

Edward Bok came over from the Netherlands as a poor boy, but became editor of the Ladies' Home Journal and made that become the best selling magazine of the early 1900s. When he retired, he built on his interest of plants and made natural gardens on his 50 acre Florida estate. He remembered the carillons of Europe and had the Bok Tower built from pink marble and coquina, Florida limestone. He gave his gardens and the tower over to the American public and the tower was dedicated by Calvin Coolidge in 1929.

The carillon is played every day as a concert by a master carillonneur who plays the keys with his fists and feet. During the holiday season, the Mediterranean estate is decorated for Christmas and open for tours by the public, at an additional price. I didn't pay that price, but I did walk all around the grounds of the house! I loved hearing the Christmas music at 1 and 3 PM, while walking on paths in the park.

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