1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853
Historic Bok Sanctuary offers visitors Florida’s most abundant opportunities for aesthetic, cultural and personal enrichment. The lush landscapes of the Olmsted gardens, the majesty and music of the carillon tower and the splendor of Pinewood Estate create an experience that inspires all who visit.
Looking up at the 205-foot Gothic and art deco Carillon Tower is an experience like no other. Designed by famed architect Milton B. Medary and ornately crafted by noted stone sculptor Lee Lawrie, the Tower houses one of the world’s finest carillons. Recitals from the 60-bell carillon fill the Sanctuary daily.
Bok, Medary and Lawrie made it a goal to create perfect unity and symbolism in the design of the Tower. The scheme for the sculptures and grille work is mostly birds and plants with a few other forms of wildlife depicted. Besides various flowers and trees, you can find cranes, herons, eagles, seahorses, jellyfish, fin fish, pelicans, flamingos, geese, swans, fox, storks, tortoise, hare, baboons, Adam and Eve, and the serpent.
The colorful tiles found only in the top third of the Tower depict the perfect balance in nature, species and gender and were designed by H. Dulles Allen.
The brass doorway and wrought iron gates on the north side of the Tower were the masterpiece of Samuel Yellin, America’s premier metalworker. The great door depicts the Book of Genesis, starting with the creation of light and ending with Adam and Eve being ousted from the Garden of Eden. The iron gates leading to the Tower were hand-wrought and showcase birds with various expressions and wings for flight.
The sundial on the south side of the Tower was set in place on October 26, 1928. The gnomon, which indicates time by casting a shadow on the dial face, is made with a bronze rod supported by a bronze snake – the ancient symbol of time. The hours are marked by the twelve signs of the zodiac. A correction table for different periods of the year is located at the base of the sundial.
The meandering garden is one of the greatest achievements of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. Tranquil resting places, shady recesses, picturesque vistas and expansive splashes of color create a contemplative setting for your personal renewal and enjoyment.
There are also many family-friendly garden areas which give children the chance to learn about the gardens while playing in a vine-covered arbor or observing butterflies.
The acres of ferns, palms, oaks and pines create a year-round backdrop of 1,000 shades of green for the seasonal bursts of azaleas, camellias and magnolia blooms that form an ever-changing work of art.