New Book Presents Bok Tower as “America’s Taj Majal”

By: Gary McKechnie


As evidenced by repeated posts and blogs, one of my favorite places in Florida is Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. It’s a place I go when I desire peace and tranquility. There are lovely gardens, walking paths, a reflecting pool, and the centerpiece of it all is the 205-foot-tall tower which rings out each day with a carillon concert that floats over the hills.

If you haven’t been there, go. And if you have, you know this place was a gift from Edward Bok, a Dutch immigrant whose good fortune in his adopted nation prompted him to leave a gift for America and future generations.

Authors Kenneth Treister and David Price, along with photographer Dan Forer, have just released a 224-page coffee table book that equates the story and the beauty of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.’s gardens and architect Milton B. Medary’s tower with that of India’s Taj Majal. It’s not a far stretch. Says Price, “Bok wanted to create a place of beauty as a gift to the American people, and the culmination of his life’s work was the dedication of the gardens and tower in 1929. It’s part of American history, a story that deserves to be told.”

Edward Bok’s life is a story in itself. Bok Tower Gardens: America’s Taj Majal, now on sale in the Bok Tower Gardens bookstore, adds a new chapter to this wonderful American tale.

You can learn more about the book (and order it online) at

(But it’s better to pick it up in person.)


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