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Florida Guide > Days Out

Facts and figures on Bok Gardens

Bok Tower is the centre piece of the wonderful Bok Gardens which is located in Lake Wales.

Here are some interesting facts about this historic landmark.

Bok Tower was conceived and executed by Edward (Eduard) Bok. Edward was Ladies Home Journal editor for 30 years.

Edward was a Dutch immigrant who worked himself up from a 50 cents a week office boy to a man with wealth and standing. Bok Gardens and The Tower were his way of thanking the Country that had adopted him and given him great ooportunities.

Edward Bok lived only 1 year after the completion of the gardens.

The architect was Milton Modray from Philadelphia.
The inspiration for the tower was from the modern (of the times) art deco and neo Gothic.

The height of the tower is an awe inspiring 205 feet.

I can also tell you that the weight is 500 metric tonnes.

The tower is supported by 160 concrete piles and is built on the highest point of all of Florida.

The grey and pink marble and Coquina surface of the tower is supported by a steel frame. The marble came from Georgia and the Coquina had less far to travel since it came from Florida. Coquina is a limestone formed of fragments of coral and shell.

The lion and eagle sculptures were carved in sutu by Lee Lawrie. That must have been one hot commission in more ways than one.

The wrought iron gate shows a graphic illustration of the Old Testament version of The Creation. The door is crafted from brass.

In all the Carillon consists of 57 bells; so far all sounds consistent. What will drop your jaw is that the heaviest bell weighs in at a mighty 12 tons! And the lightest at 17 pounds.

The Tower stands in 157 acres of gardens; these were designed by Frederick Olmstead junior. Does that name ring a bell? Well it did to me as well and a little research revealed that Frederick' s father desidned the iconic Central Park.

The first Carillioneur was Anton Brees who served right from the beginning in 1928 until his death 39 years later.

You can no longer enter the tower. Well you cannot as an ordinary day visitor. If you become a member of Sustainer level you and a guest may visit the first floor. This costs $85 a year.

There are various levels up to Chairmans Council and the benefits of this include a private guided tour and a private carillon concert. Sounds good? Well this benefit will cost you $500 a year!

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 2 September 2011
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