Sunday, April 27, 2008

Project 365 - Photo of the Day - April 23, 2008

Today was Administrative Professionals Day so we planned a picnic lunch at the historic Bonnet House. The house was built at the turn of the century by Fredrick Bartlett who was a very rich guy from Chicago. He had three wives and the third one, Evelyn, had the foresight to donate the house to the Florida Historic Trust and then this house was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a wonderfully whimsical place that is decorated solely by Frederick and Evelyn Bartlett. Mrs. Bartlett had her summer home in Massachusetts and spent her winters here until she was past 100! She spent that last two years of her life up north and passed away at 109. The estate preserved a bit of Old Fort Lauderdale, right next to the beach. There are 35 acres of land that are beautifully landscaped and there are even swans and monkeys on the property. I couldn't catch the monkeys today, but I did find the swan's babies!!

We took the seven administrative professionals there and fed them sandwiches, salad and cookies and then they got their own private tour of the property. I stayed behind and chatted with my colleague at the Bonnet House!

In this first photo you can see the beach peeking out between the two palm trees. The foliage used to be a lot thicker but Hurricane Wilma did quite a lot of damage. They are replanting, but it will take years to look like it used to look.

The Bartletts were artists and every square inch of the house is either painted or has animal sculptures. In some cases there is faux marble painted either on the walls or on the floors. I wasn't allowed to take any photos inside the house because they just became an accredited museum. But there are found objects that were made into furnishings for the house.

I loved this photos because of the way the light was coming through the window onto the yellow bench and the contrast to the blue wall next to it.

This photo shows the center of the house, it is an atrium open to the elements. This is the way Florida homes used to be built, in a rectangle with all of the rooms opening out onto an open air atrium so that when you open up all of the windows in the house you get a REAL cross breeze. Beyond the fountain you can see the archway that leads (with double doors) into a two-story artist's studio where Fredrick did all of his paintings.

Fredrick painted the sea life on the ceiling outside of the entrance to their living room.

The Bartletts loved shells and pressed shells into the walls and floors throughout the house. In fact, they have a theater where they used to show movies to their guests and the entrance fee was a shell! The collection of these shells are still all around the house.

Well, Newton HAD to be cute and I had my camera out, so I HAD to shoot this one.

And I was letting Grace have her evening drink out of my bathroom sink and I took this close up of her tongue! I wish that I could have gotten closer because cat tongues are really amazing.

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