A 205-foot-tall carillon tower hewn from St. Augustine coquina and Georgia marble.
Make-you-stop views from the highest point in peninsular Florida.
Edward Bok, a Dutch immigrant who became a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, intended the 250-acre grounds to be a sanctuary for flora, fauna and the human psyche. Nearly 75 years later, on an unusually tall hill near Lake Wales in Florida's heartland, his dream still rustles the leaves of live oaks and cabbage palms.
He found what he was looking for during his visits to his winter home in Mountain Lake Estates, a ritzy subdivision near Lake Wales. Evenings, he would take walks up a nearby hill, called Iron Mountain, to watch the sunset. At 298 feet above sea level, the elevated earth is the highest in Florida outside of the Panhandle.
Central to Bok's plan was hiring Frederick Law Olmsted, who had already done for landscape architecture what Frank Lloyd Wright did for building architecture. From Central Park to the White House grounds, Olmsted's works would eventually make his name synonymous with his field.
In Central Florida, Bok commissioned Olmsted to turn a wild landscape into a dense, tropical garden that would be a refuge from the harshness of an increasingly industrial world. Thousands of truckloads of soil and scores of plantings later, Olmsted had created what many believe is one of his finest works.
Bok Sanctuary on Web:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=& ... +sanctuary
I was there in 1996, when it was called Bok Tower Gardens. It's probably a 20-30 minute drive from Orlando and worth a visit if you're in the area.
I approached from the west (Tampa) and the entire ridge with 200+ ft carillon tower makes for a dramatic change in the normally flat Florida landscape.