The Singing Tower - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Days Out
The Singing Tower is the wonderful Carillon Tower at the equally lovely Bok Gardens.
Bok Tower sits on the highest point of Florida and is over 60 metres high and is 16 square metres at the foundation level. The views from the far side of the tower are breathtaking!
It was conceived and built by Edward Bok as a thank you to the American people. Edward was a Dutch immigrant who had risen to the level of editor of The Ladies Home Journal from humble origins. It is recorded that Edwards first job paid him only a few dollars a week!
The style of the tower references both Gothic and Art Deco which may seem an uneasy alliance but in fact it works beautifully.
It is faced with pink and grey marble from Georgia and Coquina from the rather more nearby Daytona.
The 60 bell Carrillon is one of the finest in the world and you can hear a live concert here twice a day.
The sculptures that adorn the edifice were fashioned in situ and they are depictions of nature from The Old Testament.
The Tower is stunning from all angles but my own particular favourite view is reflected in the pond. The moat surrounding the tower is full of Koi Carp.
Outside the tower is a sundial:this is made from bronze and the signs of the zodiac serve as a clock face.
It is sad to say that memebers of the general public are not allowed to go inside the tower (unless you become a member) However, I can tell you what is inside.
Starting at the top, room seven hods the 60 bells.
Level six is where the Carilleur performs his recitals.
On 5 there is a Carillin library. This holds the finest collection of these specialist books in the world.
The Curator works on the fourth floor.
Both 2 and 3 levels house the machinery needed to ring the bells.
Level one has Edwards study; sadly he lived only around a year after the completetion.
Over the last 80 years parts of the tower have become corroded and the naturally porous nature of the Coquina has not stood the test of time and the metals have corroded.
Restoration work is underway and is expected to cost $70000. During this time there will be recordings played instead of a live concert. Please do not let this put you off as it is still a magical experience.
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Page added on: 2 September 2011
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