Near Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens sits on 35 acres between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway.
The land for the house was a wedding gift from Chicago attorney Hugh Taylor Birch to his daughter, Helen Louise Birch, and son-in-law, Frederic Clay Bartlett, in 1920. Bartlett was an artist, who – over the years – decorated and painted the house to make it as colorful an open as possible, with lots of yellow and blue hues, outdoor rooms, and space to display art, shells and flowers.
“He was very much a person interested in nature and conservation,” CEO Patrick Shavloske said of Birch. “It’s actually a pretty complex family. Everyone who was directly involved with Bonnet House was married three times, so there are a lot of different nuances.”
Bonnet House is turning 100 in 2020. The house is using its Holiday Magic events, which start this Friday and last through next week, to kick off its centennial celebration.