"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

June 12, 2010

Lakewood Memorial Chapel

Long, long ago (May 30 to be exact), I went to the Lakewood Memorial Chapel in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. (Is that enough 'in's?) Now, I went on that particular day because they were giving guided tours every half-hour and I figured I'd learn a fact or two that wasn't on the cemetery's website or in the pamphlets they were giving away. And I did. One humorous anecdote (to me, anyway. I can have a dark sense of humor.):

In the past, the chapel was often used for funeral services. At the front, near where the minister would speak, there is an elevator that lowers the coffin down into the crematorium below. One day, a woman was walking across it and somehow fell through. Luckily, the crematorium wasn't on. The woman sued for damages and the cemetery settled out of court.
The artwork inside the chapel is absolutely stunning. Some text from the website about the creation of the chapel:

The chapel interior was created by New York designer Charles Lamb and many consider it the most perfect example of Byzantine mosaic art in the United States. In 1909, Lamb traveled to Rome to enlist the services of six highly accomplished mosaic artists who had just recently completed a project in the Vatican. The artists created more than 10 million mosaic pieces, called tessellae, from marble, colored stone, and glass fused with gold and silver. The artists then traveled to Minneapolis to assemble the work inside the chapel. Upon its completion in 1910, the Lakewood Memorial chapel was the only building in the country with an authentic mosaic interior. 
The chapel dome is 65 feet high and ringed with stained-glass windows that serve as a sundial telling the time of day and season. Four large mosaic figures representing Love, Hope, Faith and Memory are situated on the side walls below the dome. The figures were based on paintings by Lamb’s wife, Ella Condie Lamb, a noted portrait artist of her time.

Most of my pictures came out too blurry but here’s a couple of the better ones.


A view from outside


12 angels and 24 stained glass windows decorate the ceiling

One of the four mosaic figures representing
Love, Faith, Hope, and Memory


I don't want to retell the history when it's so easily available on Lakewood Cemetery's website. So, go there if you're interested:

http://www.lakewoodcemetery.com/History_Chapel.html

5 comments:

Ferd said...

This is a place I would love to visit!

Berryvox said...

It's fantastic and should be referred to more in the Minneapolis tour guidebooks. I plan on going back to the cemetery sometime this summer. There's also a 14,000 square foot mausoleum that has a number of pieces of artwork and a number of Minneapolis-St. Paul's founders are buried there.

Scotty said...

beautiful pictures--very nice post!

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