We were intrigued by the story of the Bonnet house . So we decided to visit the museum. Personally it's not worth 20$ for a 2 1/2 hour yawn of a tour of a house with beautiful grounds that aren't all that well maintained.The staff were pleasant and inviting, but the subject matter at hand was not worth 20$.
most people visit fort lauderdale for it's beautiful atlantic beach, vivbrant nightlife, and shopping and dining on las olas blvd, however for those interested in architecture and history fort lauderdale has a number of historic homes and buildings that are worth visiting. the bonnet house gardens and museum is a must see site for those interested in art and architecture. the site of the bonnet house was bought by hugh taylor burch in 1895 as a winter seaside retreat. in 1919 he gave the property to his daughter helen and her husband fredric bartlett. in 1920 they built the bonnet house in a caribbean plantation style. both mr. and mrs. bartlett were artists and art collectors and their collections are on display in the bonnet house. the property also has a beautiful garden and a orchid hot house. the bonnet house is listed on the national register of historic places. see my bonnet house travelogue for more images of this interesting site. for admission and times see the attached web site.
The Bonnet House is one of the few "historical" places available to visitors in our newer city. Architecturally it goes from ordinary to wacky. One of the things I love about it is that in Bonnet House you find the perfect example of what happens when staid and structured Northerners buy and visit property here. Walking throughout the house you quickly discover that there was the "real" house up north and then the fun house here. Have you ever seen something for your home that makes you smile but you couldn't intergrate it into your home? Well, that's what the Bonnet House was for. A marvelous quirky place filled with whatnots from a family of art lovers. And with grounds like these to walk around, why not? And the docents are all well-versed and friendly too.
And it is wonderful that this place and the Hugh Birch State Park across Sunrise Blvd. have been preserved in a sea of highrises and new building. This is top dollar real estate generously donated for all of our pleasure.
Bonnet House is the legacy of Frederic Clay Bartlett's and visions talent which translated his years of exposure to the arts and architecture of Europe into a native Floridian house. Built in 1920,Bonnet House reflects Mr Bartlett's personal interpretation of a plantation house and was designed to promote a gracious indoor-outdoor lifestyle filtered by coastal breezes from the Atlantic Ocean and to express his sense of whimsey with decorative delight. The 35 acre oasis reflects Mr Bartlett's love of beauty and nature preserved for us to partake and enjoy. Come enjoy the serene lifestyle of the 1930's while relaxing and absorbing this wonderful paradise. Bonnet House, named after the yellow water lily that once grew in the property's marshland, is a work of art begging for your presence.
As you can see by this picture, it is a lost paradise in a modern world!!
This mansion is situated in 35 acres right in the beach area. It was once the winter residence of Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett, two artists whose work can still be seen in the mansion. The estate was donated in 1983 to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation by Evelyn Bartlett. You can take the guided tour of the house and a self guided tour of the grounds. One other thing of note, they tell you the tour is about one and one quarter hours...that depends on your guide. My tour lasted almost two and a half! Much too long for someone who hates being in a tour group. But you have to have a guide to go inside the house.