Newly added Behind the Scenes Tours

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Visitors will participate in a VIP experience at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens beginning Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 2pm. Bonnet House will be offering new Behind the Scenes – Private Living Quarters Tours. Take a sneak peek inside normally-closed areas of Evelyn and Frederic Bartlett’s private living quarters. Tours are led by our seasoned Bonnet House docents and will be offered the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 2pm – 3pm for only $20 per person. Visitors will enjoy rooms not seen on our other tours.

The tour is offered in groups of 10 to allow for questions and discussion. Limited reservations available, pre-registration required. Please note, the ability to climb stairs is necessary to fully participate in the tour.  A video presentation at ground level will accommodate those guests unable to climb stairs.

Visit us at http://www.bonnethouse.org/hours-fees/ or contact Linda Schaller at (954) 703-2606 or [email protected]

Best Fort Lauderdale Historic Sites to Visit

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Bonnet House Museum & Garden History Photo

Best Fort Lauderdale Historic Sites to Visit – Tourist Attractions in Fort lauderdale Florida.

Historic Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is truly unique among the nation’s historic houses and gardens – and perhaps its most beautiful. In this bright and airy plantation-style house, located in a 35-acre slice of breathtaking waterfront property, visitors find themselves magically transported to the days when Florida was one of the nation’s last frontier outposts. Its story is every bit as magical as the house itself.

Attorney and Standard Oil industrialist Hugh Taylor Birch also prized nature and sought refuge from a bustling Chicago in what was a mostly unsettled South Florida in 1898.  Caught in a storm off the coast, he came ashore and made his way to the Stranahan trading post for ten days. There, he fell in love with the untamed South Florida wilderness and later purchased acres of the area’s undeveloped beachfront land. Bonnet House’s modern history began in 1919, when Birch gave the Bonnet House property as a wedding gift to his daughter Helen and her husband, Frederic Clay Bartlett, who had forsaken his family’s successful hardware business to become a well-respected artist and art collector. Frederic and Helen began construction of Bonnet House in 1920, eager for a winter retreat where Frederic could pursue his artwork and Helen could compose music and poetry.

After tragedy struck in 1925 when Helen died from breast cancer, Frederic’s visits to Bonnet House then became sporadic until 1931 when he married Evelyn Fortune Lilly. With this marriage, a renaissance occurred on the site as Frederic and Evelyn entered a prolific period of embellishing Bonnet House with the decorative elements that delight visitors to this day. Construction at Bonnet House is notable in several respects. Concrete blocks were made on site, and wrought-iron railing surrounding the second story veranda and open galleries of the main house were imported from New Orleans. Bartlett’s vivid artistry is fully reflected throughout the house, as he painted faux marble floors, and murals on walls and wood ceilings in major rooms. A cloister around a court connects an art studio and a music studio to the main house. Extensive areas of native vegetation including a hardwood hammock were preserved, and a marshy area to the east of the house was transformed into lagoons. The gardens and winding nature trails surrounding the house, and the wildlife inhabiting the grounds, are every bit as impressive, with swans and other water fowl gliding in the ponds, and raccoons and monkeys – yes, South American squirrel monkeys – also part of the ambiance.

Frederic died in 1953, but Evelyn continued to return each winter. In 1983, Evelyn Fortune Bartlett gave Bonnet House to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. Her contribution—at the time, the largest charitable gift in Florida history—ensured that the site would be preserved for the enjoyment and education of future generations. Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been declared a historic landmark by the City of Fort Lauderdale.

A visit to South Florida is truly not complete without time spent at beautiful, historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. The story told here spans and parallels a wide swath of American history and makes a visit both to these pages and to the estate a uniquely educational and entertaining experience. Bonnet House is located at 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304. For more information and details, please call (954) 563-5393 or visit BonnetHouse.org.

Tourist Attractions in Fort lauderdale Florida | Best Fort Lauderdale Historic Sites to Visit

New Orchid Greenhouse Tours Begin October 8

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Beginning October 8, 2013, Bonnet House will be offering special Orchid Greenhouse Tours with Orchid Curator Tom Wells.  These tours have never been offered before, the greenhouses and display house are rarely open to the public. The tours will be offered the second Tuesday of each month from 11am – 12pm for only $20 per person. Our greenhouses and display house hold approximately 1,200 plants in various stages of development. Our Bonnet House Orchid Curator will show you around our greenhouses and discuss how our orchids are bred and cultivated (including our impressive seedling program).  A treat for orchid enthusiasts and novices! Orchid seedlings will be available for purchase.

The tour is offered in groups of 15 to allow for questions and discussion. Limited reservations available, pre-registration is required.  Visit us at http://www.bonnethouse.org/hours-fees/ or contact Linda Schaller at (954) 703-2606 or [email protected].

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Bonnet House Museum & Gardens’ “Viva Florida 500 Best in Show Series”

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Bonnet House museum & Gardens’ “Viva Florida 500 Best in Show Series”, continues at Gallery 928 with its second opening reception featuring Bonnet House Fine Artists, Marilyn Johansen, Flor Lecht, Debi Liptak, Louis Mezian, Debbie Rubin and Tricia Rutsis.

The Viva Florida 500 Best in Show Series is a celebration of Ponce de Leon discovering La Florida, and the works selected for this series are inspired by 500 years of Florida history which include abstract as well as realistic interpretations.

This exhibition will include works of various media including, watercolor, oil, photography and collage.  A percentage of all art sale proceeds will benefit Bonnet House programs.  The series includes a total of four exhibitions running from June 20 through November 3.  All exhibitions include wine and cheese reception from 6-8pm with raffle and are free and open to the public.  Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece at each show. All receptions will begin at 6:00pm on the first night of each exhibition with announcement of Best in Show from the previous exhibition.

The series schedule is as follows:

Third Exhibition: Thursday, August 29 – Wednesday, September 29

Fourth Exhibition: Thursday, October 3 – Wednesday, November 3

 

Gallery 928 is located at 928 NE 20th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale just east of Gateway Plaza next to Serafina Restaurant.  For more information, please contact Monica Estevez at (954) 703-2614.

Bonnet House museum & Gardens – 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale 33304
Open for tours Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
www.bonnethouse.org

Orchid Care Classes Offered at Bonnet House

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Come out and learn how to properly care for and maintain your orchid with Bonnet House’s Orchid Care Classes.  On September 28 from 10am – 12pm, Bonnet House will be offering its final orchid care class covering Pest and Disease Control.   This class will be followed by a tour of the orchid greenhouse, lathe house and display house.  Orchid supplies will be available for purchase at all classes and students will receive a Bonnet House ‘baby’ orchid seedling.  Help your orchid live and bloom all year long with our help.

This is the final orchid care class of the summer, so you don’t want to miss out!

The cost of each class is $30 for members and $35 for non-members.  For more information or to Register, visit www.bonnethouse.org or contact Linda Schaller at [email protected] or (954) 703-2606.

Bonnet House museum & Gardens – 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale 33304
Open for tours Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
www.bonnethouse.org

Cool Saturdays Summer Special at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

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End your summer at half the price at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens.  Saturdays have been cool at Bonnet House this summer, and our final Cool Saturday Summer Special will be September 21.  Visitors can explore the whimsical house where fish sculptures rise in the air, shells have their own museum and shady nature trails invite you to search for playful monkeys in the trees ad majestic swans in the fresh water lakes.  Admission is $10 for adults and free for children 12 and under from 9 am to 4pm on this day.  To end this summer special, visitors will have the opportunity to feast on their food of choice from a bevy of food trucks that will be onsite for everyone to enjoy from 10am – 3pm.

The final date is September 21.  Tour admission is always free for Bonnet House members.  Visit www.bonnethouse.org for updated information and additional summer events including Viva 500 Best in Show Series featuring works from local artists inspired by 500 years of Florida history.

About Bonnet House: The mission of Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is to preserve, interpret and share the unique and eclectic historical legacy – artistic, architectural and environmental – of the Bartlett and Birch families.  We inspire in our diverse audiences and appreciation for creative expression, historic preservation and environmental conservation, while enhancing the educational, cultural and economic growth of the community

Bonnet House museum & Gardens – 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale 33304
Open for tours Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
www.bonnethouse.org