Friday, April 5, 2013

Pinewood Mansion at Bok Tower and Gardens

I will finish my Florida posts with a tour of a beautiful Mediterranean style mansion called Pinewood. This mansion was originally a part of an exclusive millionaire row of mansions in a large park called Mountain Lake Estates. The mansion was originally owned by a Mr. Buck (not Bok) but was purchased by the private foundation that runs Bok Tower and Gardens when it became available. As I understand it the Bucks had a good relationship with the Bok Tower and Gardens and vice versa, so the mansion becoming a part of the gardens was a good fit for all. There is a lot of history between the two. There is an additional charge to tour Pinewood Estate but it is worth it! Again, this entire complex is military friendly giving all military affiliated personnel half off of admission-a steal really!
Frederick Law Olmstead Jr, the son of the man who is considered the father of landscape architecture, designed many of the gardens in Mountain Lake Estates; including this garden here. The bones are pretty nice. I appreciated all the shade from the live oaks. What a splendid patio too! It is interesting to note that the gardens were designed first then the house was placed to maximize all views and to enhance the flow from the house to the gardens. Mr. Buck, it seems, was a nature lover-a gardener after my own heart!
This 12,900 square foot mansion has 20 rooms and several bathrooms. I really liked the bathroom decor because the colors were soothing and yet vibrant and a natural fit for a nature lover. I was also interested in knowing that these fixtures are all original to the home; which was built in 1930. The fixtures have really stood the test of time and look like they are modern fixtures. Selecting decor and styles in the 1930s that could still work in today's new homes is the sign of a very classy decorator. 
A view from one of the upstairs windows shows a large arm of a live oak and a sweeping view of the panoramic lawn. The screens in the house and logees are all original to the home and were in excellent shape! They don't make 'em like they used to because screens nowadays do not last as long without tears and wear. 
Potted amaryllis were a nod to nature inside of the mansion. 
Another bathroom that caught my eye was Mr. Buck's bathroom. His bathroom was the only one in the home that did not have a shower since he preferred baths instead of showers. All tidbits of information were gleaned from the knowledgeable docents on hand to explain the history of the mansion. 
Like always, I enjoy sharing flowers. These lovely plants were perhaps a type of orchid? I have no idea but they were sunny and cheerful. Our Florida visit in March was a splendid endeavor and I am glad I can relive it and share it with you all here....

in the garden....

Don't forget about the HUGE perennial plant sale at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds tomorrow morning starting at 9:00 AM. I hope to see you there! 
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. What an interesting place! Love those bathrooms and yes, could be todays style! Okay, on building the gardens first then the house, not sure on that one but if you are a professional and know what you are doing, fine. I would be so afraid that contractors would destroy my gardens as they build! I would be a basket case. After seeing this from you though, I cannot help but wonder if you will do the same, Hummmmmm..... Olmstead sure does get around doesn't he? But each garden so unique....

  2. Wow, what a gorgeous building. I love those gardens. Planting the gardens before the house is built, I don't know about that. I too, like Skeeter, would be a nervous wreck.

  3. This looks like so much fun! The mansion is beautiful and I love the views from the rooms.

  4. It looks passable and I'm quite sure with quite a few millions I could easily duplicate it. Florida is so much fun for gardens and birding...:)

  5. what a gorgeous mansion....12,900 sq ft wow.

  6. Gorgeous! I love the second photo with the spanish moss hanging down.