Design Competition for New Shrine at Indian Lake


The Our Lady of Fatima Shrine was destroyed by the powerful EF-3 tornado that hit Indian Lake on March 14. Pieces of the nearly 20-foot-tall statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary were found in the lake over two weeks later by a team of volunteer divers. The remnants of the shrine pedestal were demolished for safety reasons by the property owner, The American Society of Ephesus (“ASE”). “We immediately had requests from the local community to build it back, and there was never any question about it – we will rebuild the shrine!” said Bill Quatman, president of the nonprofit corporation. But what would be built? “We decided that it was time to redesign the shrine and to replace the 60-year-old fiberglass statue,” said Quatman.

ASE has partnered with ArtSpace/Lima to conduct a state-wide design competition for the new shrine. “The community uses the shrine regularly, so we wanted Ohio residents to have a say in what we build. We envision something similar to the 1964 shrine, but updated to last at least another 60 years,” Mr. Quatman said. His grandfather, George B. Quatman, Sr., built the original Our Lady of Fatima shrine on St. Mary’s Point at Indian Lake after six years of planning. “My grandfather owned the amusement park at the lake,” Bill Quatman said, “and he set aside this property for a quiet and respectful place for prayer and reflection.” The original shrine had a soft opening on June 28, 1964, and a formal dedication on August 30, 1964. George B. Quatman, Sr. passed away at age 74 on September 15, 1964, just two weeks after the statue’s formal dedication. “We want to rebuild in his memory,” said Bill Quatman.

The design competition will have 6 age categories: 10 & under; 12 & under; 14 & under; 16 & under; 18 & under; and over 18, and it will be open to any resident of Ohio. “A nationwide competition would draw too many entries,” said Quatman, “and we want it to be designed by an Ohio resident, not someone from New York or LA.” No religious affiliation will be required, despite the subject matter of the shrine. A 5-person jury will review the design submittals and decide on the winners in each category. ASE will give a cash prize to the winners in each age category. “We hope to get submissions from grade school, junior high, and high school students, as well as from college students and professionals,” he added. “We are excited to be part of this process,” said Sally Windle, Executive Director of ArtSpace/Lima. “We will display the winners and host a reception,” she added.

In return for the cash prize, ASE will own the rights to use any ideas from the winning entries. “We are very excited to see what Ohio designers come up with,” said Ms. Windle. “Many designs will come from amateurs, but we hope to get submissions from Ohio artists and professionals as well. The jury will choose the best ideas submitted,” she said.

No design decisions have been made yet – despite many suggestions, other than three things,” Bill Quatman said. “Those are: No fountains and no rotation or motors (which we found are very hard to maintain), and it must be Our Lady of Fatima,” he added. “Local residents have asked that we build her back exactly as she was in 1964, but we have a great opportunity here – to design something new,” he said. The image of Our Lady of Fatima is a well-established design, so the statue itself will likely be similar to the old one (although it may be a different size, location, and material). Designers will be asked to include site work, landscaping, lighting, pedestal, location, materials, and height. “There is no such thing as a tornado-proof shrine,” said Bill Quatman. “So we are not looking for something to withstand 155 mph winds!” he added.

Entry forms, rules, and a schedule will be posted on both the ASE and ArtSpace/Lima websites by June 13, 2024. An updated survey of the site and photos will be posted along with design criteria. Designs are to be submitted electronically by September 15, 2024. Plans are for the new shrine to be dedicated by August 15, 2026. “We don’t know how long it takes to fabricate a large statue, nor whether it will be made of metal, stone, concrete, fiberglass, or whatever. However allowing two years gives us plenty of time to hold the design competition, decide on the winners, have architectural and engineering drawings done, hire a fabricator and a contractor, and build the new shrine. In the meantime, the property will be a nice-looking green field,” Quatman said.

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The American Society of Ephesus, Inc. (George B. Quatman Foundation) is a non-profit private foundation formed in 1955 and based in Lima, Ohio whose mission is to promote a greater realization and appreciation of the teachings and wonders of God; to preserve and erect religious shrines, and to restore and preserve the burial grounds of outstanding religious leaders. To find out more, please visit

ArtSpace/Lima is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing visual arts to all throughout the Lima area and beyond. The mission of ArtSpace/Lima is to enrich the community with creativity through exhibitions, educational programs, and events relevant to all cultures and populations. ArtSpace/Lima is supported by grants from the Ohio Arts Council and Arts Midwest.

The Our Lady of Fatima Shrine at Russells Point, Ohio was one of the tallest statues of the Virgin Mary in the United States. Dedicated in August 1964, the 43’ tall monument included a rotating 19’-6” fiberglass statue on a concrete pedestal with fountains, music, and lighting. It was damaged beyond repair by the March 2024 tornado prior to a planned 60th anniversary celebration. The shrine property is located at 261 Chase Ave., Russells Point, Ohio.