As if it were the result of an encounter between the Wizard of Oz, a Masonic Order and a man’s fervid tropical dream, there is a place called Bok Tower Gardens which crowns, with a pink-marble tower 60 metres tall, one of the highest peaks in the peninsula of Florida.

Bok Tower Gardens emerged from the plans of a Dutch immigrant named Edward W. Bok, editor of the woman’s magazine Ladies Home Journal. His intention was to build a bird sanctuary in the peninsula’s tallest hill. “A place of beauty, serenity and peace”, he said. Thus, in 1921, he commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the same man who designed Central Park, with this paradise. The “Singing Tower” was added six years later as the cherry on top of an exuberant tropical landscape full of orange trees.

The extravagant Art Deco, Gothic Renaissance building was designed by Milton B. Medary, and behind its huge brass door, engraved with flamingos, is nothing other than a library completely devoted to bells. The Anton Brees Carilion Library is located on the fifth floor of the Singing Tower, and is considered one of the most complete bibliographic collections about bells in the entire world.

Following, of course, is the bell room, which features a keyboard that controls a series of sixty bell-carillons, and recitals take place every day; hence its name: “The Singing Tower.”

Access to the tower, as it usually happens with any other place of this size and rareness, is members-only. However, in the property there is also a Mediterranean Mansion with 20 rooms, built in 1930, which is open to the public.

In case we feel the peculiar call to visit this exotic microworld, perhaps the best thing to do would be to listen to the songs of the 126 bird species that reside there, observe the camellias, azaleas and orchids that explode in front of the surreal pink tower. The garden’s vertebrae are a series of yellow paths that lead to the tower. Any resemblance to the Wizard of Oz remains as part of this place’s exquisite fable.

As if it were the result of an encounter between the Wizard of Oz, a Masonic Order and a man’s fervid tropical dream, there is a place called Bok Tower Gardens which crowns, with a pink-marble tower 60 metres tall, one of the highest peaks in the peninsula of Florida.

Bok Tower Gardens emerged from the plans of a Dutch immigrant named Edward W. Bok, editor of the woman’s magazine Ladies Home Journal. His intention was to build a bird sanctuary in the peninsula’s tallest hill. “A place of beauty, serenity and peace”, he said. Thus, in 1921, he commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the same man who designed Central Park, with this paradise. The “Singing Tower” was added six years later as the cherry on top of an exuberant tropical landscape full of orange trees.

The extravagant Art Deco, Gothic Renaissance building was designed by Milton B. Medary, and behind its huge brass door, engraved with flamingos, is nothing other than a library completely devoted to bells. The Anton Brees Carilion Library is located on the fifth floor of the Singing Tower, and is considered one of the most complete bibliographic collections about bells in the entire world.

Following, of course, is the bell room, which features a keyboard that controls a series of sixty bell-carillons, and recitals take place every day; hence its name: “The Singing Tower.”

Access to the tower, as it usually happens with any other place of this size and rareness, is members-only. However, in the property there is also a Mediterranean Mansion with 20 rooms, built in 1930, which is open to the public.

In case we feel the peculiar call to visit this exotic microworld, perhaps the best thing to do would be to listen to the songs of the 126 bird species that reside there, observe the camellias, azaleas and orchids that explode in front of the surreal pink tower. The garden’s vertebrae are a series of yellow paths that lead to the tower. Any resemblance to the Wizard of Oz remains as part of this place’s exquisite fable.

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