The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Memorial Plaza was created in July 2001 to honour and memorialize the many generous and charitable gifts to a wide range of projects from the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Trust. The beautiful Herzstein Plaza at Festival Hill in Round Top covers an enormous area adjacent to the Edythe Bates Old Chapel (c. 1883) and the limestone paved swimming pool garden enclosure with its late nineteenth century fountain and Russian-styled onion domed gazebo. Special architectural features of the Herzstein Memorial Plaza include the dramatic stone columned entrance to an underground Stone Room (the Kaffe Kaffein), beneath the Edythe Bates Old Chapel, flanked by two rushing waterfalls. A handsome figure of Saint Boniface gazes down on the Herzstein Plaza from above the double wooden doors. Saint Boniface stands on a marble and limestone pedestal over the carved Latin inscription, ‘Cur Cotidiana Somnies’ or ‘Why dream the ordinary?’
A large figure of Saint John, the Evangelist, also overlooks the Herzstein Memorial Plaza. He holds a quill as a symbol of the Word, Contemplation and Faith. Smaller figures of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Anthony of Padua are also found there. An abundance of wrought iron and marble details embellish the Plaza. A masonry and sea-shell encrusted Blue Grotto houses marble benches and a limestone table providing a shady and cool shelter for picnics and contemplation on the Herzstein Plaza on even the hottest afternoons. There is a modest fishpond, full of gold fish and water lilies. The pond is fed by a jet of water, flowing from an antique French bronze statue of William Tell, dating from the nineteenth century. The gold fishpond and bronze statue are located across from the wrought iron gates to the swimming pool garden enclosure. Rare and unusual plants are also displayed around the Plaza.
The Herzstein Memorial Plaza is used for and is available for large open-air gatherings, such as reunions and the very many other events hosted and presented on the unique Festival-Institute campus, Festival Hill, throughout the year. The largest Festival receptions each summer are always held on The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Memorial Plaza.