Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mausoleum for the Family of William H. Bartlett

Soon after the death of his wife on December 2, 1904, Mary Wentworth Bartlett, William Bartlett hired Joseph Silsbee to design a mausoleum for his family.  During his life, Bartlett, a grain merchant who made his fortune in the Chicago grain trade, lived in several homes around the country but chose Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery as his family's final resting place.  
Joseph Silsbee was a close friend and before designing the mausoleum, he had already designed several homes for the Bartlett family..  The Mausoleum was constructed of granite and is designed in the Classical Revival style.  It is composed of two major components, each constructed of granite; a crypt and an exedra.  The crypt has the appearance of a small Greek Temple.  It is rectangular in plan and topped with classical pediments at the front, back and sides. The entry is finely detailed with recessed ionic columns topped by carefully carved laurel wreaths.  Much attention was given to the detail of the bronze doors with a filigree of giant palms.  The doors were fabricated by Winslow Brothers Co. of Chicago.    
The interior of the crypt is clad in white marble and has a marble mosaic floor.  An inscription in gold, around the cornice, is from an un-credited hymn called "The City of Rest" and reads: "It's walls are called salvation, thy city's name is rest".  Vaults for Mary, Henry, their daughter and two sons are provided for.

The exedra is a low curved platform in front of the crypt structure.  It is flanked by two low pedestals that were platforms for decorative urns.

No comments: