Built in 1921, this historic two-story, 35-acre waterfront house was once the winter home of artist Frederic Clay Bartlett ... More
Built in 1921, this historic two-story, 35-acre waterfront house was once the winter home of artist Frederic Clay Bartlett and his wife Evelyn. The Bonnet House is serenely elegant and preserved amidst the urban expansion of Fort Lauderdale Beach, which is what makes the land so special. Mrs. Bartlett, who died in 1997, gave the estate to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation in 1983 in order to keep the property unchanged. Several concerts and events are held here throughout the year, and the house is available for private events such as weddings. Named for a waterlily that once inhabited the property, the Bonnet House is open year-round for guided tours.
It has been years since I visited Bonnet House because I moved away, but I'm planning a trip soon. If you go....take time to sort out the facts there.
Bonnet was not the owner's name. It takes it's name from the yellow Bonnet flower in the lagoon. It is a true slice of Ft. Lauderdale history when the town was not quite a village. It's probably the only real slice left there. It's locality is amazing being very close to the ocean and stretching to the Intracoastal. It's a love story of two people, the Bartlett's, who lived and played and built this plantation style home just for their day to day happiness, and in the process made something authentically "old Florida" that would be preserved into the future for the enjoyment of all. There are many interesting things in this home; I will not name them, and you lose yourself in it if you are inclined that way. If not, you are missing something. It is unchanged from the way it was thanks to all the dedicated workers who love it. Treat yourself, and open your mind to what it was. Take time there and learn all you can. It will give you some great perspective on the city, the State, a couple from a past era, and yourself. It's really worth it if you open your heart.
We have visited Bonnet House four times and love it for its simplicity and quiet grace. This estate is a valentine and a museum dedicated to the preservation of the owners intentions to cherish a way of life. The grounds are natural, not manicured, yet beautifully kept. Old Florida lives on in the midst of condo towers on all sides. Thankfully this is landmarked. Highly recommend.
It was over=all a good visit, I would of like to know if their was more significance or contribution by the owners to the development of fort lauderdale, they seemed to be reclusive..lol...although they were artists..they didn't seem to be defining figures of that time...but for the fact that the house still stands and has historical value...it's worth it..
I did like the house, the style and color...It has some i saw it value, just knowing about it and where it is is a good start because most don't know, some might have heard of it..most people who go to the beach don't have a clue either,,,heck i heard of it as a child and thought it was downtown for some reason...lol...I'd definitely recommend it to others, i would warn them that it is pricey and not really a $20 sacrifice...
One of only a few places in Broward County that reflects the very early history of the era from the early 1900s. Fascinating insight into the one-time owners and their love for Bonnet House.
The tour guides -all volunteers- are very knowledgeable, patient in answering questions and helpful.
As you walk the grounds you can truly envision andsense how this area was 100 years ago bucolic and serene as opposed to the over development of today.
One thing we recommend is after taking the walking tour of the house, is to pay the small fee and drive around the grounds (electric golf cart) with a tour guide, it adds another dimension to the enjoyment. You will not be disappointed!
We visited Ft. Lauderdale this last weekend and took our group to the Bonnet House - This was the only disappointment of the entire stay. Having visited many homes and gardens all over the globe that have tours, this one ranks at the very bottom of the list. Perhaps it was the unkempt grounds, perhaps it was the tour guide who literally did not know anything except the very basic of information, perhaps it was the over hype of the advertising. Bonnet evidently donated everything of value or beauty to museums in Chicago - perhaps a few items should have remained here to make the tour worthwhile. If you decided to go - lower your expectations - really low - so you won't be too disappointed.
I very much enjoyed having a tour of the Bonnet House last summer (2006). I would recommend going when the weather isn't too rainy as there are nice grounds to see if it is not raining. I found the whole experience interesting because the historical aspects as well as the fact the the original owners were artists. The house is lovely and very unique. The paintings are awesome. The staff is friendly. Get there early so you have lots of time to explore.....and look for monkeys!
An artist's house in the middle of acres of peaceful plants, flowers and water. Friendly staff. A great 1-2 hour break from the hot streets and beaches. You can get a feel for what South Florida was like before development.
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