Primary colors, symmetry, an eclectic collection of art and an unexpected anticipation of a sustainable approach in daily living is what makes Bonnet House a truly unique Floridian villa from the Twenties.
Hugh Taylor Birch’s love for this part of the coastline (today Fort Lauderdale) was the catalyst for an unusually open-minded approach to architecture and daily life.
The house, unlike most of big villas built at the beginning of 1900’s in Palm Beach, incorporated local materials and bricks made on site. Bartlett – the son in law of Birch and an artist, didn’t want to follow the general trend of “Mizner-like” huge manors and designed the house by himself reinterpreting the plantation style. A house made to delight his family, as he said, and not as a showcase for others.
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. In 2004, the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the site in its Save America’s Treasures program. Surrounded today by massive development, the Bonnet House and Gardens has been listed as one of America’s 11 most endangered sites since 2008.