B's & B's: Buffalos and Birds
Sunset Progression

Bok Tower

08_21 Bok Tower bok tower DSC07040 -1A trip to Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, FL

I have been driving by signs to Bok Tower for years when headed to other parts of Florida. Last month, with Ruth, we decided to stop. The gardens and the Singing Tower were beautiful. Since it was during the week, there were very few people. Unfortunately, it was a summer day in Florida: very hot, and very humid. They advertise a tram, but it was closed due to COVID so a lot of walking and we only covered a small part of the grounds. Well worth it, but if we go again it will be during cooler weather.

The history of Edward and Mary Louise Bok, the Singing Tower, and the Gardens are the subjects of many a book and website. Click here for the Wikipedia short version.   


The Singing Tower is about a half-mile walk through the gardens

08_21 Bok Tower Purple Pepper DSC07001 -1
08_21 Bok Tower Purple Pepper DSC07001 -1
08_21 Bok Tower Purple Pepper DSC07001 -1
08_21 Bok Tower sun through leaf DSC07006 -1

08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail
Reflecting Pond


08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail

08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail
Approaching the Tower


08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail
The Gothic Revival Tower is the highest spot in the Gardens. Named the Singing Tower because of its 60-bell carillon, it is built with marble from Georgia, and coquina stone from St. Augustine, FL. The tower is surrounded by a moat that is now a koi pond. 

Trivia: there are carvings and paintings of flamingos. Unfortunately, attempts to introduce live flamingos failed because of the "cool" central Florida weather. 

08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail

08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail
A working sundial on the side of the tower.


08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail

08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail
Sundial closeup, with dedication by President Calvin Coolidge.

 

08_21 Bok Tower bench scenic DSC07026_Localtone
Views from the base of the tower


08_21 Bok Tower bench scenic DSC07026_Localtone

08_21 Bok Tower round pot DSC07056 -1
Lots of things left to age gracefully


Off to the side and below the tower is an Exedra commissioned by Edward Bok's neighbors.
Amidst all the meticulous landscaping, it looked oddly neglected.  

08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone
08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone
08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone
08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone

08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone
Carved into the marble.


08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone

08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone
View from the Exedra



At the visitor's center, we were surprised by a demonstration of a unique Florida activity: Gator Wrestling, updated with the introduction of a cell phone.

08)21 Bok Tower gater wrestling DSC07000 -1
'Sorry about the quality, it was a very bright day.



August 13, 2021


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