Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
History of Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
Hugh Taylor Birch, a successful Chicago lawyer, purchased the property in 1895 and gave it to his daughter Helen and her husband, artist Frederic Clay Bartlett, as a wedding gift in 1919. Bartlett built a plantation-style home on the property and spent the winter there with his wife and their child from a previous marriage, Frederic Jr until Helen died in 1925. Bartlett donated his extensive art collection to the Art Institute of Chicago as a memorial to his late wife. Bartlett was a self-taught architect, and the main house is based on his interpretation of Caribbean plantation-style architecture.
Bartlett then married Evelyn Fortune Lilly, Eli Lilly’s ex-wife, and they used the home as a winter residence until his death in 1953 and hers in 1997. She deeded the property to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation in 1983, which maintains the property as a historic house museum called the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. The estate was valued at $35 million, the largest single private donation in state history. Interested in learning about the Museum of Discovery and Science? Click the link!
Address: 900 N Birch Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304, United States
Tuesday: 11 AM–3 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–3 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–3 PM
Friday: 11 AM–3 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–4 PM
Sunday: 11 AM–4 PM
Phone: +1 954-563-5393
Area: 14 ha
Added to NRHP: July 5, 1984
NRHP Reference Number: 84000832
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