The Bonnet House is a historic home in Fort Lauderdale. It is located at 900 Birch Road. On July 5, 1984, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is named after the Bonnet Lily. The gardens are filled with natural vegetation and exotic plants, and a host of animals, including monkeys and parrots, are kept on the premises. Find further facts here.
This impressive estate is on the barrier islands that lie between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Several bridges link this chain of islands with downtown Fort Lauderdale, and it’s easiest to come by car.
Frederic Clay Bartlett
Artist Frederic Clay Bartlett built the plantation-style home for his second wife, Helen Birch, in 1920. The surrounding 35 acres (14 hectares) of land were a gift from her father, a prominent Chicago attorney. When Helen died in 1925, Bartlett married artist Evelyn Lilly and the couple kept Bonnet House as their winter home until his death in 1953. Both the furnishings and the extensive collection of fine art remain. The art is spread out between the Main House and adjacent Bonnet House studio. Among the paintings are works by Pablo Picasso and Paul Gauguin, and originals by Bartlett and Lilly. Read about The Broward Center of the Performing Arts here.
The best way to fully appreciate the history of this grand estate is by guided tour, which is included in the price of admission.