Ehret Mausoleum


This big-shouldered Romanesque Revival mausoleum is the eternal home of a big-shouldered man. George Ehret was born is the city of Hofweier in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany. His father, who was a prosperous brewer in Germany, came to the United States in 1852. Young George followed in 1856. He went to work for Anton Hupfel in Manhattan and in six years became Hupfel’s master brewer. Then Hupfel lent him enough money, combined with what he had saved, to start a brewery of his own. Ehret christened it the Hell Gate Brewery. To get pure water, he drilled an artesian well through 700 feet of rock, saying he would not defile good hops with city water. In 1871, he produced 33,512 barrels of beer; by 1874, production topped 100,000 barrels; by 1900, the Hell Gate Brewery’s production soared to over 600,000 barrels. Barrel-chested George Ehret became one of the richest men in New York. When he died in 1927, his obituary stated that “George Ehret had kindly little eyes and a wedge-shaped bald head, spreading out at the neck. His stiff collars, always too big for him, were immense, low and broad; he tucked the ends of his black bow tie up under the flaps of his collar. His figure was square, his legs a little bowed.” His estate was valued at $40,000,000.

His massive 56-crypt mausoleum was designed by Schikel & Ditmars in 1900 and fabricated by Robert Caterson. The mausoleum features an arched entrance with windows filling the rise of the arch. Two bronze doors are guarded by a granite lion sculpted by J. Massey Rhind. The cornice is decorated with a continuous heavily relieved festoon just below the complex roofline. The tiered domed stone roof is topped by a round finial. Inside, opposite the entrance, a Tiffany stained glass window depicting an angel holding a scroll is set above a bas-relief marble cross, which is surrounded by a laurel wreath and bronze ivy edge. The June 1907 issue of The American Architect and Building News includes a photo of the Ehret Mausoleum. The landscape at the mausoleum was designed by Woodlawn Cemetery in 1910.
Photos and text © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”The Woodlawn Cemetery” street=”East 233rd Street” city=”Bronx” state=”New York” zip=”10470″]

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