Bok Tower, east of Tampa and south of Orlando, with its huge brass door depicting images from the Book of Genesis shining like gilded gold, was built by Ladies Home Journal editor, Pulitzer Prize winner and peace activist, Edward Bok.
Encircled by a reflecting pool, the 205-foot art deco, neo-Gothic carillon bell tower is set amidst 50 acres sanctuary of old growth moss cloaked oak groves and landscaped gardens designed by conservationist Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. that had surrounded Bok’s 1930s Mediterranean-style mansion, Pinewood Estate. Bok had intended to create a place that would "touch the soul with its beauty and quiet." The sanctuary, originally called the Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower, provides visitors meandering trails and cloistered reflective spaces tucked back among ferns, azaleas, camellias and magnolia and besides a swan graced reflective pond. Daily concerts are held beneath the oaks at 1 and again at 3 p.m. at the Lake Wales National Historic Landmark. Adult admission is $12; Children’s tickets sell for $3.