We here at Bok Tower Gardens are no stranger to hurricanes – having gone through several in the 95 years since construction on the gardens began – and we encourage all of you to begin your preparations for hurricane season. Assess your risks, review your plans and important documents, inventory your supplies, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Did you know that in September 1928, while the Singing Tower was still under construction, the “1928 Okeechobee Hurricane”* passed over Bok Tower Gardens?
Sep 16th Sunday
Notified by Western Union of hurricane coming so called out the “gang” and lashed everything as fast as possible on tower and covered bells.
Hurricane reached its height at 4 AM. Examined Tower – no real damage. Panels from carvers scaffold on top blew off and much of carvers shelter at 32[“ level] demolished. No damage to bells although all covers were destroyed. Many trees down and all electric wires to tower. Wind from East then south 60-70 miles per hour.
We were lucky then to have only sustained minor damage during what remains as one of the most deadly hurricanes in history, but we know that it’s better to be prepared and we want you to do the same. Here are some resources to help you prepare for hurricane season:
Details and photographs about the hurricane and more aspects of the Tower construction can be found in the Burrell Collection, available online as part of Bok Tower Gardens’ digital collections (Bok Tower Digital collections).
Please be prepared and be safe!
*The modern system of naming tropical storms and hurricanes was established in 1953 for Northern and Pacific storms and was adopted for Atlantic storms in 1979.