May 16, 2014

Photo Essay: Mountain View Mausoleum, Daytime

As much as I enjoy decrepit headstones of graves becoming absorbed into the surrounding landscape, I also appreciate some monolithic cemetery architecture of mausoleums.

If you can stomach the crypt flies, and the idea that you are literally surrounded by the dead...

...who have been interred above ground rather than buried safe beneath the earth...

...they're actually nice, quiet places to visit – especially on a day when it's too hot to go graving outside.

Mountain View Mausoleum, built in the 1920s and later annexed to its namesake cemetery... particularly striking with its ceiling murals, dim chandeliers, stained glass windows above and across from everything...

...and ornate lighting fixtures illuminating the polished marble crypt fronts.

The Mountain View Mausoleum is quite the attraction even just for the stained glass alone...

...much of which was designed, created, and installed by LA's own Judson Studios.

Not all of it is overly religious per se...

...but it is always reverent.

The mausoleum is a labyrinth of crypts...

...with multiple levels of hallways containing the interred remains of various prominent figures in Pasadena history...

...including the Mausoleum's own architect, Cecil E. Bryan.

Mountain View was considered the crown jewel of the 80 mausoleums that Bryan designed in his lifetime.

Its unique architecture incorporates floor ornamentation...

...with light, marble, wood, columns, and sculptures.

Perhaps the most breathtaking feature of the mausoleum – the one area that will knock you dead and leave you there with the rest of your kind – the Radiance Corridor, with its 360 degree reflections of a rose-themed stained glass installation, also fabricated and installed by Judson Studios.  Opened in the 1990's, it was designed by Jae Giddings Carmichael, descendant of Levi W. Giddings, who founded the mausoleum's parent cemetery in 1882. Once a prominent Pasadena resident, Giddings' descendants still run the cemetery, mortuary, crematory and mausoleums of Mountain View (including also Pasadena Mausoleum).

Soon I'll have the chance to fulfill my true creepy instincts by visiting Mountain View Mausoleum at night, but something tells me I'll prefer it during the day, just to see that colored light stream out of those gorgeous windows and onto all surrounding surfaces.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Judson's Historic Glass Studio
Photo Essay: The Lighted Windows of La CaƱada Congregational Church
Photo Essay: First Congregational Church Architecture Tour

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