LAKE WALES, Fla. - Bok Tower Gardens is in the home stretch of a multi-million-dollar renovation, where they have been working with an internationally known design firm. Hadley Exhibits, which made works for the National September 11 Memorial Museum and the JFK Library, has now created exhibits for Bok Tower Gardens.
Bok Tower is coming to the end of a $16-million renovation that has been going on for several years. The newest phase centers around the visitor's center, which will officially re-open in a few weeks.
"This really caps off so many years of planning, of fundraising, of designing," Erica Smith, marketing director for Bok Tower Gardens, told FOX 13. "We are really excited because we will be able to re-open the visitor's center to a whole new generation to history and to our founder, Edward Bok."
Bok was born to a poor family in the Netherlands, immigrated to the United States, and became a leading journalist of his time. He eventually became the publisher of "Ladies Home Journal," and a well-known philanthropist.
In 1929, he gave Bok Tower Gardens and 50 surrounding acres of landscaped property to the American people.
The new visitor's center will have interactive exhibits, a video tour to the top of the tower, and dozens of displays of vintage memorabilia, including a box of Rice Krispies with the history of Bok Tower Gardens.
It will also have a gigantic replica of the tower itself, and an area to show the conservation work being done at the gardens.
The improvements at the visitor's center follows other new additions. The attraction recently developed a children's garden, built an outdoor kitchen, and expanded the existing gardens by eight acres.
Bok Tower Gardens will be officially re-opening the visitor's center on Saturday, October 19, when admission will be free.