Bok Tower Gardens

Our friends Jim and Brenda suggested that we visit Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida. It is a National Historic Landmark created in 1923 by Edward Bok, an author and editor of The Ladies’ Home Journal. Bok who had a winter retreat in Lake Wales purchased land on nearby Iron Mountain to transform into a sweeping landscape of lush gardens featuring a majestic Singing Tower housing a 60-bell carillon. He commissioned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead Jr, famous for landscaping of the White House and many of the memorials in Washington, D.C. to design the gardens. The results are a beautiful, peaceful sanctuary for both humans and wildlife.

Bok commissioned a Philadelphian architect, Milton Medary to design the carillon tower. He in turn selected a skilled sculptor, metal worker and tile maker to create an art deco and neo-Gothic tower built with a steel frame structure encased in beautiful coquina stone from St. Augustine, Florida, and pink and gray marble from Tate, Georgia. The Tower features sculpted finials, balconies, an arched entranceway, and elaborately carved screens, friezes, tiles, metalwork and sundial.

We were fortunate to visit the garden on a day that featured several carillon concerts. Here is one performance.

A very enjoyable day!

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