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Cathedral Labyrinth, 2004

Former owner:
Owen, Jane Blaffer 1915-2010
Garden Club of Indianapolis
Physical description:
1 folder+ 3 35 mm. slides
Mixed archival materials
New Harmony
Cathedral Labyrinth (New Harmony, Indiana)
Mrs. Jane Owen, descendant of Robert Owen, commissioned Mr. Kent Schuette to design and implement a labyrinth garden. The Harmonists built labyrinth gardens for spiritual meditation and contemplation, however, this labryinth design was modeled exactly from the labyrinth design existing within the floor of the Chartes Cathedral in France. Constructed from polished and unpolished black granite, the labyrinth floats on a base, in order to prevent rainwater collection and cracking. Although Mrs. Owen originally requested a Gothic-inspired entrance, Mrs. Schuette designed an entrance with clean, square lines. Shuette compromised with planting Liriope muscari, whose leaves crisscross to form Gothic arches, to surround the labyrinth. To enhance the spiritualism of the garden, Schuette directly aligned the Cathedral Labyrinth with the Indian burial ground, located on the south end of the garden.
Persons of Organizations associated with the garden include: Harmony Society (former owners of property, 1814-1825); Robert Owen and descendants (former owners, 1825-1973); Robert Lee Blaffer Trust (present owners, 1973-present); Kent Schuette (landscape architect, 1998); and Simon Verity (Orpheus fountain designer, 1999).
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
In 1825, Robert Owen bought the town from the Harmony Society, a Germanic religious community, in hopes of starting a progressive thinking community.
The folder includes a work sheet and site plan.
Repository Loc.:
Smithsonian Gardens, PO Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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