Allegheny Cemetery

Yes, I know this post may be better suited to Halloween than a post-Easter followup, but what can I say, I love old cemeteries! Nestled into the heart of the city of Pittsburgh is the historic 300 acre Allegheny Cemetery, originally started in 1845.

At first glance, the cemetery appears to be more of a park than a resting place for loved ones. In fact, even on the gloomy, rainy day I was there (I call it Pittsburgh weather) the grounds were filled with joggers, dog walkers and people enjoying the warm spring weather.
The park is a veritable architectural history lesson, featuring buildings and mausoleums in many different styles. The Butler street entrance, seen in the top photo, originally dates to 1870 with later additions, such as the odd Mansard roof.

This Neoclassical mausoleum seen above really caught my eye - so lovely! The verdigiris bronze doors really are show-stoppers. Unfortunately, the rear stained glass had been damaged and bricked over. However, if you peer through the glass in the door you can still see remnants.This Egyptian Revival mausoleum was interesting: I suspect the family buried there was very very stylish.

The numerous little Greek temples with Doric columns reminded me of a folly in an English Garden. While taking tea in a mausoleum might not sound so great (or be your 'cup of tea', har har) - there is very little difference between a European garden folly and these mausoleums!

A single person mausoleum: compare it to a studio in the city I suppose.

The interesting thing about the cemetary is that the sections are mixed. You'll find a tombstone from 1845 next to a mausoleum from 1915 next to a fresh grave. I find it so interesting to see how the styles changed. I thought these tombstones with the ogee scroll were very pretty. Is it morbid to choose your future tombstone: cemetery window shopping?

A cemetery this large has numerous entrances of course. This entry gate and pavilion along Penn Avenue was built in 1885, designed by Henry A. Macombs who had won a design competition for the structure. During construction, the design was modified so that the 135 foot tall bell tower would match the famous courthouse downtown by Henry Hobson Richardson.

Good design can be found in the most unexpected places!

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos: they were snapped with my phone!

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