Many things the September flood destroyed or erased will be fixed or replaced, if they haven't been already. But others are gone forever.

To that second list, add the gravel-and-brick labyrinth outside the Boulder Public Library.

Those strolling the west side of the creek at 1001 Arapahoe Ave. now see, where the labyrinth once enhanced visitors' quest for quiet reflection or meditation, nothing but a swath of gravel and the occasional piece of brick where floodwaters raged.

The labyrinth, installed in 2007 by George Peters and Melanie Walker of Boulder's Airworks Studio, will not be replaced.

"When we built it, the city parks and rec department said, 'You know, this is a flood zone,'" Peters recalled Friday. "And there's been a few other floods over the years. But this one kind of swept the whole place clean."

City spokeswoman Jennifer Bray, who said the labyrinth was not only designed and installed, but also maintained for the Parks and Recreation Department by Peters and Walker, said, "It's kind of sad that it was destroyed, and that they're not putting it back in."

Sad? Yes and no, Peters said of his own work's demise.

"It's nice to have things not stay so long, because (when they do), they become invisible," he said. "When you have temporal sculptures, it becomes memory and story. People start talking about them, and it's a whole other dimension. They take on a whole other life. History is changed, by fictional accounts."

Peters said he and Walker, his common-law wife, went down to the labyrinth area each day during the September flood to check on its status. It was clearly going from bad to worse.

"When we went down and saw the height and then the speed of the water through that area, it was just amazing," Peters said. "I had never seen anything like that along Boulder Creek, Tuesday to Friday (of the storm). I think Friday we decided, 'That's the end of that.'"

Peters designed the labyrinth, which he called "Meander and Meet," himself. As if still getting used to the idea of its destruction, he alternated between speaking of it in past and present tense.

The Boulder Creek labyrinth, as it looked before September s flood.
The Boulder Creek labyrinth, as it looked before September s flood. ( PAUL AIKEN )

"It was just using the idea of a walking puzzle, a walking labyrinth," he said, "and it's unusual because it was one path that enters, and goes to the center, and spirals out in another path. So it's a continuous walk, instead of just walking to the center and then trying to find your way back the same way.

"It was unique. There was no other labyrinth like that one."

He never tired of going to the creek and seeing people of all ages enjoying the space, each in their own way.

"We had been maintaining it, weeding it and edging it, and keeping it up to standards that the parks and rec department wanted, and for ourselves, too," Peters said. "Each time we went there, there would always be somebody walking around it, which was nice.

"People came to us and thanked us for maintaining it. They didn't know we were also the actual makers."

About half the bricks, which edged the gravel paths, have been recovered by Peters and Walker, either to be used in other projects, or recycled through ReSource Boulder. The rest are simply gone, claimed by the flood.

And with them, a place to discover and savor the quiet that Peters believes is missing in so many people's lives also has passed into memory.

There is this consolation, Peters said: "It's still on Google Earth."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Charlie Brennan at 303-473-1327, brennanc@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/chasbrennan.