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Philmont Labyrinth Walking the dog Theater Directors David Anderson and Benedicta Bertau laid the foundation for their creative relationship and for the company when they met at Emerson College in Great Britain, in 1994. Walking the dog Theater has by now become one of Columbia County’s most prominent theater organization, drawing audiences from as far as Boston and New York City. Dedicated to serving the community through the arts, the company brings high caliber professional productions as well as educational programs for all ages and abilities to the county.

An International Work Crew
14 years after graduating from Emerson College in Great Britain, Walking the dog Theater’s artistic directors hosted a reunion of alumni and their families from 11 countries and 5 continents, with the primary purposes of creating an eternal project for Philmont, a labyrinth.

The Project
The labyrinth, a maze-like structure that invites walking along its curved paths, appreciation of the landscape around it, and activities for all ages in all seasons, has become an attraction for inhabitants of Philmont as well as for visitors from far and wide.

Tea House Clean-Up
The marble floor of the historic Tea House at Harder Mansion (now The Hearth) was recently vandalized. Young people smashed the marble tiling - and were caught. Sentenced by the judge, the three young people were required to work under the guidance of stone mason and Philmont resident Tim Smith of TD Smith Stonemasonry. The international work crew as well as several members of the community joined forces with the idea to recycle the vandalized, broken marble tiles of the historic Tea House into the central piece, the “Rose”, of the labyrinth that would be placed below/South of the Tea House, and to consolidate the marble tiles that are still whole in the center of the Tea House floor, readying it for a future, more complete restoration. The Tea House is now safer and by involving the youth of the community, it will hopefully prevent future vandalism, as was and is the case with the beautifully restored bridge in the park.

The Labyrinth
The exact place for the labyrinth is the South of the Tea House, at the bottom of the slope, where the Harder tennis courts used to be. The labyrinth measures approx. 42’ in diameter, and is flush with the ground. It’s structure does not inhibit any village activities, such as a fair with e.g. booths, tables. On the contrary, it provides a beautiful and safe addition for village events. The mosaic structure (created of Blue Stone, grass, and recycled white marble (the broken Tea House Floor pieces) makes vandalism extremely difficult. The structure is planned to be flush with the ground, so that it could be mowed when the rest of the park is maintained.

Materials for the patio/labyrinth were donated to the village of Philmont and the the existing grass/sod for the paths, Blue Stone for the “walls” (the spaces between the paths), and the rescued broken white marble from the Tea House for the spaces between.

Linda Gatter of Local 111 helped with the planning and organized the local activities and even hosted a fundraiser at the restaurant that was so heavily attended, they nearly ran out of food. Tim Smith donated many of the materials. A school teacher from Connecticut, Marleen De Grande, has already pledged her support with maintenance, and is planning to bring her class twice a year for that purpose.

The Labyrinth is located on Maple Avenue (across the street from Local 111) in the Village Green. We encourage all residents and visitors to tour the new labyrinth, which was created through the tireless efforts of many volunteers and contributors.

Watch a photographic chronology of the Labyrinth being constructed at Shutterfly, a photo sharing site.

For more information about the labyrinth project, visit the Walking the Dog website.

This article was adapted from source content about the labyrinth project. More News


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