Come along with me on assignment to discover why Bok Tower Gardens is “a spot of beauty second to none in the country.”
This 250 acres of gardens attract 126 species of birds and contain countless species of plants, flowers and trees and is home to the spectacular Gothic Revival and Art Deco tower that was designed by architect Milton B. Medary known as the singing tower of Central Florida.
Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it. -Edward Bok 1929
The tower is a glorious 205 feet, or the equivalent of a 20-story building, and sits on one of the highest points in Florida. It is constructed of Pink Etowah and gray Creole marble from Tate, Georgia, with embellishments of native Florida coquina shells. At sunrise and sunset, the gray, pink and white of the materials make the tower look as if it’s glowing.
Housed in the upper third of the tower is the carillon, a stationary hanging set of musical bells.
The bronze bells were cast by the venerable British firm John Taylor & Co., who also worked on St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Washington National Cathedral, and the chapels at Wellesley College and Duke University. The largest of the 57 bells in the Tower weighs nearly 23,400 pounds; the smallest, a mere 17. The carillonneur, the term used for the musician who plays the bells, uses his fists on one keyboard and his feet on another.
Learn more about this great National Heritage site here.