March 18, 2009

Bok Tower & Gardens

Edward William Bok (1863-1930), American editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was born in Den Helder, Netherlands, on October 9, 1863. He came to the United States at the age of six. Educated in the Brooklyn Public Schools, he went on to become a great business success. The Tower and Gardens were his tribute to the great opportunity America had presented him, and to what was thought to be the highest point in Florida at the time of construction. To learn more on his history see ttp://

Since there is ample discussion about the man, the tower and the gardens on this website, I'll just let the pictures do the talking and leave by saying we had a great afternoon strolling through this beautiful place!

Florida Southern College - Frank Lloyd Wright

Like Hal, I've always been a long-term fan of the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, and fortunately Kim seems to enjoy the clean modern lines and simplicity of his designs. Just a few miles from Hal & Normas rural country setting, lies the largest collection of FLW designed buildings located in a single small college campus. The campus is situated in Lakeland Florida about 20 miles. It was only fitting that we enjoy a visit to sample the great master's renderings introduced here by the dynamic lines of the campus chapel!

As we enter through the traditional low entryway, and into a small foyer, with it's centered fireplace, we feel the "compression" the Mr Wright always creates upon first visiting the structure....

We walk through a hall to our right, then, suddenly...wham! the ceiling explodes upward and you're treated to this wonderful spectacle of stained glass & light....

As we stoll around to our next building, we walk through and under one of the many low set overhangs that tie the entire complex together, both visually and practically...

Destination the theater and arts center, another modern geometric monolith...typical FLW style!

Inside we're treated to another explosion of high ceilings, angular interfaces and brilliant colorful lights!

Across we go and into the Visitor's Center, in which you are immediately greeted with more color full glass, and shortly after enter a rather large auditorium, appropriately lined with a photo-documentary of the construction, along with fine examples of some of Mr W's custom designed furniture.

Back across the campus we go, seeing many illustrations of those geometric openings and angles that are an everyday part of any Wright structure.

In the distance our eyes are lured towards the tallest object on campus, reminding us somewhat of the Romeo & Juliet Belltower at Talliesin East.

Just beyond things change again, this time a magnificant fountain that treats the viewer to a constantly changing water dance several times each day.

Just across the fountain is the old library, now turned student center. Here we take a lunch break. We sit on the patio, and just relax enjoying the fountain and cool breeze.
I give Kim & Dave an enthusiastic "Let's go, there's so much more!" Without a single word of reply, I clearly get the subtle message......enough of Mr Wright for today!, I guess you'll just have to head out here to Lakeland and finish the tour yourself......