Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Mar 15 2010

Tomb Doors

Category: Beautiful DoorsLori @ 11:17 pm Comments (3)

Arched Bronze DoorLast week I attended a security meeting for a new horticulture building at the Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  I’ve written hardware specs for hundreds of projects but never a building for a cemetery.  I had never been to Mt. Auburn, so I looked it up on Google Maps, my first clue that this was not your typical cemetery.

It’s enormous – 175 acres with more than 5,000 trees!  And extremely beautiful, peaceful, and honestly – a really enjoyable place to spend the afternoon.  Visitors are welcome so I didn’t even feel self-conscious taking photos of doors.  I did check with Mt. Auburn personnel to make sure it wasn’t disrespectful to post photos of tomb doors, and I got the go-ahead so there are plenty of photos below.

The cemetery was founded in 1831, and was the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in the U.S.  It’s a National Historic Landmark and the final resting place of thousands of distinguished people.  A few names that caught my eye…

  • Phillips Brooks (1835 – 1893), rector of Trinity Church, Boston, where the first door closer was designed by Louis C Norton! (LCN History)
  • Charles Bulfinch (1763 – 1844), architect, regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession.
  • Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983), architect, visionary, famous for his work with the geodesic dome.
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840 – 1924), art patron, whose Boston home has been a museum since 1903 and is currently undergoing a large renovation and addition designed by Renzo Piano (assisted by famed hardware consultant, Greg Thomson)
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882), poet, whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride” (“…one if by land, two if by sea…”)

So if you’re in the area and you’ve got time for a stroll, I highly recommend the Mt. Auburn Cemetery.

And now…the doors (click here to view all larger):
Bronze with Stained Glass BeyondBronze with Door KnockerDoor KnockerLimestone Door?Wood Door (Replacement)Double DoorsTop Pivot Close-UpLock Close-UpBronze Pair with Stained Glass BeyondMarble Door
Arched Bronze Door
Bronze & Glass
Bronze and Glass PairBronze Close-UpBigelow ChapelChapel EntranceWashington TowerCurved Slider in TowerGorgeous Tree
And if you haven’t had your fill of tomb doors, here’s a post from a locksmith’s blog about rekeying a mausoleum door:

3 Responses to “Tomb Doors”

  1. Jess says:

    pretty cool history, never knew rector’s name of trinity cathedral (church Lewis C. Norton went to and installed first closer on) and really nice doors.

    any idea of where Mr Norton is buried?? I think would be cool to see his grave, the inventor of door closers


  2. Andy Lindenberg says:

    My uncle lives in the Mt. Auburn neighborhood, so I’ve passed by it many times, but never thought to stop by and have a look. As you can relate, I love old doors and hardware. I’ll make a point of it on my next trip to Cambridge.

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