This Saturday mid century era homes were opened to be toured by mod lovers and photographers. I found the flyer the address, my only lead was a church where the tours kickstarted in the past. It was a bust and I didn't make it to the Mod Arlington tours, but at least I enjoyed tranquility and relaxation at this beautiful church.
I was told the church was considered one of the "Top 100" buildings in Florida despite being in a "state of disrepair". The owners strive to not only maintain but restore the building to its former glory. It's shaded by pines and boasts a zen garden, trail, naturalistic mod-style installations, and a "labyrinth."
The short trail takes you around the pond, when you reach the end you're facing the beautiful church and surrounded by trees. I was pleased to see undisturbed swamp land as far as the eye could see behind me at one point. Nice to see some undisturbed land in always-developing Florida.
I even collected a couple of pieces of rare Florida foliage, ours isn't brilliant solid colored beauty the Northern states enjoy. Instead the trees feel confused and shed diseased looking leaves. Better 'n nothin'!
The church boasted some peaceful sitting areas like the one above with a relaxing vase fountain.
And a lovely "zen" rock garden featuring a statue of a praying Buddha.
I meandered through hallways and peered into spaces, some boasted high ceilings and gorgeous exposed beams in a distinctly mod style. Wish I could have got inside for some shots but the doors were locked.
I do believe this is the first building of its kind I've extensively explored. I loved the abundance of rooms with open glass walls.
The hallways were peaceful to explore and gave me ideas for some mod crafts I should cook up.
This is the Unitarian Universalist Church Labyrinth. There were three posted staged to the walk:
Releasing distractions and extraneous thoughts to find your natural peace. Reaching the center where you sit and stand as long as you'd like to meditate, pray, and "receive what is there to receive" and Returning, follow the path you took in back out. "A strange sense of strengthening can occur. You take back out into the world what you received."
The rules posted suggested sitting down and "quieting your mind" before you enter. I've never been good at meditation, I'm an anxious busy-minded person. (Meaning I probably really need some meditation.) I followed their rules as best I could and gave the labyrinth a try, not feeling any immediate difference.
There were several lovely decks for sitting and enjoying the cool shaded areas as well.
And tables and benches. This space would make a very relaxing library or small school, so many spaces to sit and work in peace.
I appreciated clean, modern, natural details like this suspended branch. Beautiful shape.
On the drive home I definitely felt more relaxed than when I'd arrived, humming to myself along the way and not feeling the usual anxiety I feel driving over the Mathews Bridge (I have an unfounded fear of heights.) Maybe it was the magic of the labyrinth, but it was probably the inspiration of finally visiting a gloriously mod building.
Have you explored a mid century modern building? Do share any recommendations in the comments, I love checking out retro/mod/kitschy spots around the world.