Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Michener Labyrinth


If one lives in this area, with Philadelphia, New Hope, and Doylestown all so close by then one can't complain they have nothing to do. While off on my last vacation I had two free days left so after the pool the one day, the Lad and I went for a light bite, then off to check out the historical sites in Doylestown, which is where I am. I have been many times, but what I really wanted to check out was the new Michener Labyrinth that was added as part of the Michener Museum. The labyrinth is an ancient pattern found in cultures around the world dating back thousands of years. Today people from all over the globe, like blog buddy Deb, walk to quite the mind, find balance, encourage meditation, gain insight and promote well-being. They are historical, cultural, and a land sculpture all in one. So after the pool the one day, we ventured over to check out this find. My first time to ever walk one too I might add.
 


And after a couple wrong turns, I made it to the center!!!!

I was very excited to walk my first labyrinth, as they aren't that common around here. I don't know if I felt more calm or not...it could also have been the libations I had earlier! And if you enjoy labyrinths you must check out Deb's blog, She Who Seeks in my blog roll. She often features many labyrinths of all magnitudes. Right behind the labyrinth is the James A Michener Museum. yes- that James A Michener, who was an American author of more than 40 titles, the majority of which were sweeping sagas, covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and incorporating historical facts into the stories.


Opened in 1988 in Michener's hometown of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the James A. Michener Art Museum houses collections of local and well-known artists. The museum, constructed from the remains of an old prison, is a non-profit organization, with both permanent and rotating collections. Two prominent permanent fixtures are the James A. Michener display room and the Nakashima Reading Room, constructed in honor of his third wife's Japanese heritage. The museum is known for its permanent collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings and swank champagne art exhibitions.

Across this street from all this is the Mercer Museum which I have written of before. Henry Mercer personally designed plans for a museum to house his collection, six stories tall and cast of poured-in-place concrete. Mercer's museum was completed in 1916. In addition to tools, it displays furnishings of early America, carriages, stove plates, a gallows, antique fire engines, a whaleboat, and the Lenape Stone. The Spruance Library, which houses historical research materials, is located in the lovely adjoining mansion. Mercer decided to build with concrete after the Great Boston Fire of 1872 destroyed his aunt's prized collection of medieval armor, which had been stored in wooden structures. He did not want his own collections to suffer the same fate. Locals mocked his choice of building materials, but on completion of the museum, he lit a bonfire on its roof to prove that it was fireproof. Mercer's museum was an early demonstration of rebar-reinforced concrete as a structural material. You can see this castle of sorts all over town.


And what's really cool is all these sites are all on the same block. And this is just the tip of the iceberg in Doylestown sighting and seeing.

15 comments:

  1. i'll remember this for the next time i visit friends in pipersville.

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    1. Why, you couldn't be the pied piper could you?

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  2. Oh! What fun. How gin-induced were you hon?

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  3. It's a LOVELY labyrinth! Thanks for posting photos and thanks too for the shout-out, Mistress! I hope the labyrinth walk brought you some quiet joy. It's a low-tech form of meditation but can be very effective all the same.

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  4. Thank you for this post today. The idea of the labyrinth spoke to me today, as it so often does. I am happy that it spoke to you, too. Your town looks pretty amazing!

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  5. Octavio Paz wrote that “Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone, and the only one who seeks out another.” But, often, most answers really come in the silence, away from the company of others. You do have to go into the labyrinth, and walk the walk alone. I will have to check this out!

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  6. You make me look bad, I really need to get out and do more! All this is at my fingers....

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  7. Cool post! If I walked a labyrinth I'd only get dizzy.

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  8. way cool love the labyrinth and those house gorgeous

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  9. Amazing! I can't blame you for going photo crazy. I would have done the same! And a Michener novel? Can one ever finish one?

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  10. Amazing post, and such terrific photos/commentary! There is a recently completed labyrinth garden -at the Unity Church Grounds near me... I'm suddenly feeling inspired! ;)

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  11. left turn, right turn,left turn....must find the cheese,must find the cheese.....

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  12. Close to home is where you find the good stuff. And you found some really good stuff! Your town sounds-and looks-like such a cool place. Thank you for this.

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  13. Oh, I do believe I would be dizzy going around that thing! What a great little town though, looks like a special little town.

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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