Last 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):
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: www.steveslockout.biz