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Published: June 18th 2019
The main entrance to the house is through the courtyard.
Arriving in Fort Lauderdale the day before our Panama Canal cruise was to sail, we had decided to make a visit to the Bonnet House. The Bonnet House, listed on the National Register of historic Places, was the home of Frederic Clay and Helen Bartlett. It was designed by him in his interpretation of the Caribbean Plantation style and built in 1920-1921. When Bonnet House was built, the surrounding land consisted of nothing but dunes, scrub and marshes and was reachable only by boat. Today, it is considered an oasis in the middle of the Fort Lauderdale beachfront.
Frederic Clay Bartlett (1873-1953) was a successful American artist from Chicago. He worked in many media, including painting, faux stained glass, marbling, sculpture and decorative arts. The land was a wedding present to him and his second wife from her father. The main entrance is through the courtyard. Bartlett adorned his Florida house with all manner of whimsical and quirky artworks--carousel animals, marbleized furniture, and a curious painting of his depicting he and Helen as folk dancers (she with two left feet).The courtyard is the focal point of the house. Bartlett's studio and selected artworks are off one side of the courtyard
Cowfish sculpture over the main entrance, by Frederic Clay Bartlett.
and the rooms of the house open onto it. It is typically styled as a Persian Garden, and does have four precincts with a central fountain. He seems to have been intrigued with things Persian and his studio is in the shape of an Iwan. On the main floor of the house are an intimate dining room with a table for only four persons (the Bartlett's and two guests), the kitchen, a verandah open to the lily pond, a sitting room and a room now used for a display of Helen Bartlett's own paintings. The upper level contains the Master Bedroom, three Guest Bedrooms and two smaller bedrooms. The upper floor is not included in the guided house tour. A verandah offers a view of the lagoon and lily pond.
To reach the house from the parking lot, visitors must cross over a mangrove swamp. On it are the wooden boathouses once occupied by the boats used to reach the mainland. The individual at the visitor center was very pleased that we had selected Bonnet House as our pre-cruise destination.
Tot: 3.45s; Tpl: 0.337s; cc: 15; qc: 27; dbt: 0.2894s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 9;
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