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BOK TOWER

BOK TOWER GARDENS, LAKE WALES, FLORIDA
Bok Tower Gardens is acres of ferns, palms, live oaks and pines creating many shades of green. This must be a beautiful background for the azaleas, camellias and magnolias when they are in bloom. The camellias had lots of buds on their branches but only a few flowers in bloom. The landscape was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr., the son of the planner of New York’s Central Park. Although it is a lot of green plants it is by no means placed haphazardly. You can tell that it is all placed with a design in mine.

The neo-Gothic and art décor Singing Tower Carillon houses one of the world’s finest carillons with 60 bronze bells. The tower is the focal point of the garden.

BOK TOWER

 Twice a day there is a 25 minute concert of the bells and we were lucky enough to catch one. There are benches scattered about so you can sit and listen. However we walked around the area enjoying different sights and looking up at the tower as we listened to the music. It is a pretty site with a Great Brass Door

BRASS DOOR

and covered in pink, white and gray marble.  The Tower is situated at the highest elevation in Florida. It was designed so that the entire tower would be reflected in the lake in front ot it.

REFLECTING IN LAKE

The creator of all this was Edward Bok, a Dutch immigrant born in 1863 and came to the U.S. when he was 6. His motto was that he wanted to make America more beautiful because he lived here. The gardens were established in 1929 as a gift to the American people. At the age of 26 he became editor of the Ladies Home Journal and held that position for 30 years. He also collected autographs and letters in response to his questions. He had autographs from such people as Helen Keller, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Mark Twain. Many of these are in the Library of Congress.

Pinewood Estates is also on the property.

PINEWOOD ESTATE

 Unfortunately it was closed when we were there but we were able to walk around the garden surrounding the house and peek into the windows. The home is a Mediterranean style, 20 room mansion. It was originally the winter home of C. Austin Buck, vice president of Bethlehem Steel.

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