This Chartres style, paver labyrinth is located in Butler Park in the heart of Austin. The park is located south of the Colorado River across from busy downtown. The intersection where we entered the park is 1000 Barton Springs Road and Dawson Road where the Dougherty Arts Center is located.
On a weekday afternoon there was ample parking, though we found no signs or information about the park or the location of the labyrinth. We set out on a sidewalk to the right and quickly saw it about 250 feet in front of us, an easy walk. The labyrinth is right off the main ellipse in the park with a buffer of trees protecting it from the main road.
It was an overcast day and was threatening to rain so pictures were hastily taken. Our walk was reasonably quiet, but noise from nearby ball fields was noticeable. The labyrinth is well maintained and accessible for all abilities.
The heartspace was interesting as this was my companion’s first experience and needed guidance to appreciate the exercise. The words RETURN RELEASE RECEIVE were inscribed in the center, an appropriate message for a public space.
As we were leaving trying to beat the threatening rain, five or six elementary aged children came running across the labyrinth right into the heartspace. One girl started clapping her hands and shouting to show her friends the strange echo one heard while standing in the center. If you stepped out of the heartspace, no echo was heard. As they ran off in another direction we went back to replicate the echo and were amazed at the sound and that it was only audible while standing in the center.
Our visit was short; the park had a number of visitors and we found no place to sit, observe and reflect. The area was well maintained as a city park but seemed a bit sterile. I’m curious to see other locations in Austin.
This is a guest post by my friend who wishes to remain anonymous.