Crocker Monument

Sharing the top of Mountain View Cemetery’s Millionaires Row are the Merritt Mausoleum and the Crocker Monument. The circular Crocker monument, constructed in 1888, was built in the Pavilion style. These round “tholos” forms were inspired by temples and tombs of Greco-Roman antiquity. The smooth sides of the mausoleum are contrasted by the rusticated stone blocks forming the base of the structure.

The Crocker mausoleum was designed by New York born architect Arthur Page Brown. Brown studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris before working for the prestigious New York architecture firm of McKim, Mead and White. He moved to California in 1889. In 1893, he won the design competition for the California Building at the Chicago Columbian Exposition then designed the famous Ferry Building in San Francisco in 1896. Brown’s life was cut tragically short by a carriage accident later in 1896.

Following Charles Crocker’s death in 1888, his wife Mary commissioned Brown, then living in New York, to build this tomb for her husband. Charles Crocker was one of the “big four” who built the western portion of the transcontinental railroad. Ironically, like Brown, Crocker was also killed in a carriage accident.  Curiously, since the monument is solid granite, none of the Crockers are entombed inside. Nevertheless, cemetery records indicate that somewhere around the monument lie the mortal remains of Charles Crocker, his wife Mary, their son George and George’s wife, Emma.
Text and photo © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”Mountain View Cemetery” street=”” city=”Oakland” state=”California” zip=”94611″]

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