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CONTACT: Brian Ososky
Director of Marketing & Public Relations

June 12, 2013

Bok Tower Gardens among choices for 8th Wonder of the World
designation by Virtual Tourist website


LAKE WALES, Fla. – Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales is among the choices to be designated as the 8th Wonder of the World.

Public voting is now open at, a travel research website and community that is part of TripAdvisor Media Group, boasting 1.2 million registered members from 220 countries around the world. Visitors can cast their vote once every 24-hour period, and voting lasts through September 30.

Nominated for the designation by representatives at Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing (Visit Central Florida), Bok Tower Gardens is competing against the famous Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, the Maldives Islands, Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls, and others.

According to Gardens’ Director of Marketing and Public Relations Brian Ososky, it’s a well-deserved honor to be nominated for this designation. “Bok Tower has been a familiar landmark rising over the Central Florida landscape for nearly 85 years and has hosted more than 30 million visitors from all over the world,” Ososky said.

The Wonder with the most votes will be crowned the winner and featured in a national broadcast TV segment on a popular syndicated program, as well as receive a massive media relations campaign push from VirtualTourist.

“Long before Disney, Universal Studios or modern day theme parks, Bok Tower was here. It houses one of the finest carillons in the world, features four million pounds of Georgia marble and 60 tons of brass bells, all situated in a unique garden setting designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.,” Ososky said.

Dutch immigrant Edward W. Bok built Bok Tower in 1929 as his "Thank you to the American People." The 205-foot neo-Gothic art deco "Singing Tower" carillon is a National Historic Landmark which sits atop Iron Mountain, the highest point in peninsular Florida.

“There’s nothing like it anyplace else, it’s a masterpiece, and Edward Bok would be proud to call it the 8th Wonder of the World.” Ososky said. “All we need now is for our friends and neighbors to get behind us and vote every day.”

Bok Tower was designed by famed architect Milton B. Medary and ornately crafted by noted stone sculptor Lee Lawrie.  Bok, Medary and Lawrie made it a goal to create perfect unity and symbolism in the design of the Tower. The scheme for the sculptures and grille work is mostly birds and plants with a few other forms of wildlife depicted. Besides various flowers and trees, you can find cranes, herons, eagles, seahorses, jellyfish, fin fish, pelicans, flamingos, geese, swans, foxes, storks, tortoises, hares, baboons, Adam and Eve, and the serpent.

The colorful tiles found only in the top third of the Tower were designed by J. H. Dulles Allen depicting the perfect balance in nature, species and gender.

The Great Brass Door and wrought iron gates on the north side of the Tower are the masterpiece of Samuel Yellin, America’s premier metalworker. The door depicts the Book of Genesis, starting with the creation of light and ending with Adam and Eve being ousted from the Garden of Eden. The iron gates leading to the Tower were hand-wrought and showcase zoomorphic figures with various expressions and wings for flight.

The sundial on the south side of the Tower was set in place on October 26, 1928. The gnomon, which indicates time by casting a shadow on the dial face, is made with a bronze rod supported by a bronze snake – the ancient symbol of time. The hours are marked by the 12 signs of the zodiac. A correction table for different periods of the year is located at the base of the sundial.

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Download printable PDF - Download High Resolution Photos of the Singing Tower

About Bok Tower Gardens:
Voted Florida’s best garden, Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark located 10 miles from LEGOLAND Florida, 55 miles southwest of Orlando and 60 miles east of Tampa near Lake Wales in Central Florida’s rolling hills of citrus. Open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Café and Gift Shop are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. LEGOLAND ticket holders will receive free admission for children under 12. For more information, contact Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales FL 33853; 863-676-1408 or visit


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