On my way back from Bradenton to Orlando, I had to stop and see the gorgeous door at the Bok Tower Gardens. The gardens have to be one of the most beautiful and tranquil places I’ve visited…luckily I was there early, before the families started arriving or it may have been less tranquil. The 50-acre garden was established in 1929, by Edward W. Bok as a gift to the American people, and was designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead Jr.
The focal point of the gardens is the 205-foot marble and coquina Singing Tower, with tile mosaics, custom iron work, and of course, the amazing brass door which depicts the Book of Genesis. The 12-foot high door and the ornamental wrought iron gates and bridges surrounding the tower are the work of Samuel Yellin, recognized as America’s premier metal worker. The door is made of teakwood overlaid with yellow brass repoussé. In Yellin’s words, it is:
“as near to color of gold as possible and depicts six days of creation in the Garden of Eden. The various panels in the door show Adam and Eve, the vegetation, animals and birds, etc. The reason for making the door in this golden material is that not only will it make a beautiful golden spot, but it is the most suitable for depicting the theme used, as the climes of the six days of creation should be presented in a golden blaze of color.”
Because this is the only door into and out of the tower, very limited guests are allowed inside in order to keep the occupant load low and comply with safety regulations. Here are some photos of the Bok Tower door…more photos from the grounds in my next post!
Panels 1-6: Creation of Heaven and Earth
Panels 7-10: Separation of Land and Water
Panels 11-14: Creation and Trees and Fruit (the panel which shows the Tree of Life actually has a small door behind it which opens so that panel can be used as a viewer)
Panels 15-18: Creation of Light
Panels 19-22: Creation of Birds and Fishes
Panels 23-26: Creation of Animals
Panels 27-30: The Garden of Eden