"Merton's Heart" is an open hillside space which is visible from the Saint Bonaventure campus. Merton was known for his walks through the hills of the surrounding area and this site took its name from its association with those walks.
The hillside was originally cleared in the 1920's for oil drilling, but had been abandoned for that purpose by the time Merton arrived at St. Bonaventure. There's no evidence that the site was one especially favored by Merton, who would often cross the railroad bridge over the Allegheny River to walk up to Martini Rocks and a hilltop cottage owned by his friend Robert Lax's brother-in-law. Nonetheless, the site remains a visible reminder of Merton's presence on campus and a continuing place of contemplation and prayer for the St. Bonaventure community.
Mason, Karen-Marie. "Merton's Heart: An engineering
wonder." The Bona Venture 17 Sept. 1976: 8.
Spaeth, Paul J. "The truth about Merton's Heart." The Bona Venture 18 April 1997: 4.
Two color photographs of Merton's heart may be viewed by clicking here.
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