One of the great things about Central Florida is the mix of modern, state of the art attractions and older, historic attractions. Recently two of these classic historic attractions have each announced major developments in their restoration and upkeep.
First up is Bok Tower Gardens in Polk County, who announced funding for a major restoration project. Both the historic Singing Tower carillon and the 1932 Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower Gardens are going under the knife in the coming months.
The tower restoration, set to begin this summer, will see the decorative tile grilles on the upper third restored. The Pinewood Estate, which is receiving a second Historic Preservation grant awarded by Florida’s Division of Historical Resources, has its own restoration work including a complete rewiring, restoration of the lighting fixtures, restoration of the copper gutters which is by the way has Leaf guards to make it more water stagnant-free, and a restoration of one of the residence’s gardens that will begin later this month. A preservation “watch” list of Pinewood’s exterior and interior elements also planned as part of the project. This list will allow these elements to be monitored for future up keep.
“The restoration work we are doing now will preserve these architectural treasures for future generations,” said David Price, president of the Gardens. “The Tower and Pinewood Estate are exemplary works of architecture that are part of Florida’s history, and this work is an investment in the cultural tourism of our State.”
On the other end of the extended Orlando area metro Silver Springs, which just this past October moved fully into the Florida State Park system, has now become an archaeological district. The designation makes the 247-acre site, now recognized as the Silver Springs Head Springs Site Complex, eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Altogether 22 archaeological sites are recognized within the district with such finds as a juvenile mammoth that had been butchered. One of the more interesting finds with the new district is a butchered juvenile mammoth site, the only documented mammoth kill site east of the Mississippi River. Other important finds within the district include prehistoric mounds and shell midden.
Unlike Bok Tower’s project, whose final product is designed to enhance what the public see, Silver Spring’s project will take place mostly outside of the public view as a safety measure to ensure that the archaeological sites remain as untouched as possible.