Bonnet House’s future unclear as two sides battle for control

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation announced Thursday its intent to take over the historic Bonnet House, kicking off a fight for control of the beachfront, community treasure.

The 35-acre estate, spanning from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean, offers visitors a slice of what life was like before developers reshaped the Fort Lauderdale shoreline. Swans float in the pond and monkeys play in the tree limbs outside the 1920s Bonnet House, and orchids beautify the natural landscape.

But a bitter battle over development and dollars has thrown the estate — and its operations — into uncertainty. The Florida Trust sent a certified letter Thursday alerting the nonprofit Bonnet House Inc. that it will be ousted after nearly three decades running the museum and gardens, at 900 N. Birch Road, a bit south of Sunrise Boulevard.

“I was shocked,” a shaken Bonnet House CEO Patrick Shavloske said Friday, calling himself “disheartened and disappointed.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.