The United States’ Most Iconic Mausoleum


The most famous mausoleum in the world is the Taj Mahal, but the most visited mausoleum in the United States is Grant’s Tomb. Built almost twelve years after his death, Grant’s tomb is an iconic New York City landmark commemorating the life and passing of our 18th President and Civil War General, Ulysses S. Grant.

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The Legacy of Ransom Eli Olds


Throughout his life, Ransom Eli Olds received recognition, awards, and accolades. Perhaps best known for founding the Oldsmobile Motor Company, Olds also started or helped to arrange several other companies, from parts suppliers to banks. Olds was also the first person to make use of an assembly line for the production of his automobiles. Henry Ford automated the assembly line some time later. Though Ransom E. Olds departed this life 64 years ago, his death has not disqualified him from current recognition and award.

Preservation Lansing, recognizing the recent repairs and renovations to the Olds Mausoleum in Lansing’s Mt. Hope Cemetery, entertained a nomination for the stately structure in the category “Non-Residential Project Costing Less Than $1 Million”. The specificity of the category was appreciated by Olds’ great-granddaughter Debbie Stephens, who along with her two sisters paid for the repair and restoration of the mausoleum.

“Non-residential – I like that,” she said. “It does have residents, but…”

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Famous Bedroom Modeled After Taj Mahal Now Open to the Public


Mausoleums are beautiful buildings and hallowed sanctuaries for the souls residing therein. Their quiet solemnity and dignified architecture can be more than beautiful buildings, some are even world famous shrines built for those who have passed before us. With the care and craftsmanship dedicated to these structures, it’s no surprise that some could become fixated on these monuments. For instance, Doris Duke, a famed Islamic art enthusiast and tobacco heiress, modeled a bathroom and bedroom suite in her Hawaii home after the most famous mausoleum of all — the Taj Mahal.

According to a story by the Associated Press, Duke became fixated with the Taj Mahal during her ten-month long honeymoon there in the 1930s. She later had the bathroom and bedroom suite in her Honolulu home, called Shangri La, modeled after the famed mausoleum. In fact, Shangri La has been acting as a museum to house Duke’s extensive collection of Islamic and Middle Eastern art and has been open to the public since 2002. The Taj Mahal-inspired suite was previously closed, however, due to repairs to the roof above it. These private chambers are now open to the public and will act as a sort of tribute to a building which stands thousands of miles away.

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Mausoleum in Saline, Michigan Celebrates 100th Anniversary


The Oakwood Cemetery mausoleum, built a century ago, is celebrating the milestone with a special ceremony last Sunday, according to the Saline Reporter. The structure has become one of Saline, Michigan’s historic landmarks and houses the remains of dozens of individuals interred throughout the last century.

The mausoleum dates back to 1913, when the Saline Observer reported that J.W. Flowers of Toledo, Ohio had purchased land at the Oakwood Cemetery in order to construct a brand new mausoleum. The cemetery handled the mausoleum design and construction, while Flowers was tasked with the sale of available mausoleum chambers. The mausoleum is comprised of 88 burial chambers, with a South Wall that holds 44 families and a North Wall that holds another 23 families. A number of local residents are interred within the mausoleum with their spouses or family members, the oldest of whom, John Hull, was born in 1842.

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Stanford Mausoleum: A Memento Mori Comes To Life


In the spring of 1884, railroad magnet Leland Stanford and his wife Jane lost their son Leland Jr. to typhoid. The grieving parents decided to found a university in Leland Jr.’s memory. Using the land intended for their country estate’s home and garden, the Stanfords built a university for the future of others’ children. A Mausoleum to inter the remains of young Leland Stanford, Jr. and his parents was included in the grounds design.

The campus’s Mission Revival buildings were designed by the Boston based architect, Charles Allerton Coolidge. New York’s Central Park creator, Frederick Law Olmsted was commissioned as the landscape architect for the coeducational campus. Originally meant to be the cynosure of the university’s layout, the Stanford mausoleum was finally erected in the northwest of the campus, surrounded by the arboretum and Arizona Cactus Garden. At the behest of Mrs. Stanford, two Greek sphinxes were erected to guard the entrance of the mausoleum. However, the bare breasted female figures were deemed inappropriate and moved to the back of the building. They were replaced by two male, Egyptian-style sphinxes.

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Where ‘Mausoleum’ Gets Its Meaning


There are many famous mausoleums: The Taj Mahal, the tomb of the first emperor of Qin in China, and the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the founder and ruler of the 6th-century Persian Empire, are only a few.

The Taj Mahal, an immense memorial carved out of marble between 1632 and 1653 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, ranks among the wonders of the world. So does the tomb of the first emperor of the Qin dynasty in China, which contains the 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses of his terra cotta army. The tomb of Cyrus the Great was a stopover for Alexander the Great during his conquest of Asia and remains a prominent monument in modern-day Iran.

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Rebuilding of Timbuktu’s World Heritage Mausoleums Underway


Malian masons started reconstructing the mausoleums in Timbuktu, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. A group of 14 mausoleums were destroyed by a group of armed rebels before a French intervention in the area.

The Djingareyber Mosque, the largest mosque at the World Heritage site, received a new façade and will be under maintenance for a month. Malian architects and technicians are planning and executing tasks related to reconstructing the mausoleums to return them to their former state and repairing damage done by the rebels.

Timbuktu’s mausoleums hold many ancient artifacts, including a collection of monuments and manuscripts. According to UNESCO, around 4,200 manuscripts, some of which date back to the pre-Islamic era, were destroyed when extremist militants seized control of the city.

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The Panthéon: Two Women Given Burial In French Hero Mausoleum


Marie Curie is about to get some new neighbors. President François Hollande of France announced he selected two men and two women to be interred in the Panthéon, France’s historic mausoleum and tourist attraction located in Paris’ Latin Quarter.

Of the 73 heroes who have been honored in the Panthéon, only two are women—Marie Curie, the only woman to gain entrance on her own merit, and Sophie Bertholot, who was buried with her husband Marcellin Bertholot. Other interred heroes include Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Émile Zola, and Louis Braille.

The two women to be buried are French resistance fighters Germaine Tillion and Genèvieve de Gaulle-Anthonioz. Both fought against the German occupation of France during World World II. The two men selected by Hollande were resistance fighters as well.

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Over a Million Visitors to Atatürk Mausoleum on November 10


On November 10, more than one million people visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. November 10, 2013 was the 75th anniversary of his passing, and official and unofficial ceremonies were conducted across the country to commemorate the day.

The mausoleum is more than just a historic landmark for the people of the Turkish Republic. Atatürk is a symbol of the founding of the republic, and the implementation of the principles and rules of democracy. President Abdullah Gül commented in a statement on November 9: “At a time when authoritarian regimes have gained strength, the foundation of the republic based upon national sovereignty demonstrated the trust that Atatürk and the Parliament put in democracy… Through the republic, the foundations of the transition toward democracy were laid.”

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The Woodlawn Cemetery Mausoleums, Bronx, New York


Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx, is one of the largest cemeteries in New York City. This 400-acre cemetery is the final resting place for more than 310,000 people. Established in 1863, Woodlawn Cemetery is designated a National Historic Landmark. It is an important cemetery, historically speaking, because it is a prime example of the transition from rural garden cemetery at the time of its establishment, to the more modern and orderly 20th-century cemetery style.

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