Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pinewood Estate

When I visited here last time, we did not go to see the house that is at Bok Tower Gardens.  The house is named the Pinewood Estate and you can do a tour of this neat place.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A tour through the magnificent Mediterranean-style Pinewood Estate lets you experience the luxurious lifestyle of C. Austin Buck, an early 20th century industrialist.  Mr. Buck was the vice president of Bethlehem Steel.  The Estate occupies eight acres of Bok Tower Gardens and is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.
 Pinewood Estate’s has beautiful gardens and a 20 room Mediterranean-style mansion built in the early 1930s.  It is considered one of the finest examples of Mediterranean-style architecture in Florida.
 Pinewood began its life in 1930 under the name “El Retiro”.  Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., who came to the area in 1922 to design Edward W. Bok’s Gardens, was designing private gardens at nearby Mountain Lake Estates. William Lyman Phillips was assigned as the Olmsted representative and was retained by Buck to design the gardens and site of “El Retiro” to take maximum advantage of the lush Florida landscape.
 Charles Wait, long affiliated with the Olmsted firm, was brought in to design the house in the Mediterranean-style Floridians still enjoy today. Wait created a house that had the appearance of a Mediterranean villa. The thick walls, wrought iron details, carved woodwork and doors heighten the effect. Wait also incorporated large porches to give clear views of the surroundings and provide constant air flow.
 Buck, who admired Latin lifestyle and architecture, obtained the tiles used throughout the house from Cuba. Phillips, who spent time in the Canal Zone and had a great love for the tropics, set about creating a series of vistas – a Spanish frog fountain leading to a grotto in front of the house; an Oriental moon gate outside the dining room; and the long view down a rolling lawn to the lily pool. The entire house was situated to give views through the surrounding pine trees.
 Over the years, Pinewood changed hands several times before it was acquired by Bok Tower Gardens in 1970. The estate was restored to its original design by nationally recognized restoration landscape architect Rudy Favretti, the staff of Bok Tower Gardens and a corps of volunteers. Today, work continues to preserve the mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Can't remember if I already thanked you for this addition to our TBV (to be visited) list. Looks like a great place.