TSGS Cruiser Blog

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From the FIRST MATE's

New Harmony, Indiana
"The Roofless Church"

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Roofless Church
Just across the street from the New Harmony Inn stands the non-denominational Roofless Church, an architectural landmark and spiritual retreat designed by Philip Johnson and built in 1960.
The area is surrounded by a twelve-foot wall, and features Ceremonial Gates by Jacques Lipchitz that open into a peaceful courtyard of gardens and sculptures.
A paved walkway leads to a fifty-foot high lobed dome covered with cedar shingles. Visitors from Japan and India tend to see the shingled canopy as a lotus, whereas those from Christian backgrounds interpret it as a rose.
Under this dome is the bronze statue of The Descent of the Holy Spirit, also by Lipchitz. At the back of the enclosure, a large balcony looks out over the Wabash River valley.
The church is open year-round to the public and is operated under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis. Mrs. Jane Blaffer Owen, who commissioned the Roofless Church, believed that "only one roof, the sky, could embrace all worshipping humanity." Its picturesque setting makes it a popular setting for weddings and other ceremonies.
For additional information about the Roofless Church, please contact the Robert Lee Blaffer Foundation at (812) 682-3050.
- Photos taken and submitted by JGWest

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