Gould Mausoleum

Architect H.Q. French of New York designed this Ionic peripteral temple mausoleum, reminiscent of the Parthenon, for Jason “Jay” Gould the man who defined the term, “Robber Baron”. French was the designer of a number of elegant tombs, most of them in the Classical Revival style. Unfortunately little is known about French’s life, but he has left behind a legacy of beautiful architecture. To add to the beauty of the Gould mausoleum is a huge weeping birch tree, which was designated one of the “113 Great Trees in New York City” in 1985.

A number of members of the Gould family are entombed in the mausoleum including Gould’s wife, Helen, who died in 1889, and a number of their children. All of the caskets are in wall crypts. Interestingly, Jay Gould’s crypt is soldered closed. Apparently the Gould family didn’t want a repeat of an incident that occurred in 1876 where the body of another millionaire, A.J. Stewart, was stolen from St. Mark’s Cemetery in Manhattan, and his remains were held for ransom. An undisclosed amount of money was paid by Mrs. Stewart for the return of what was presumed to be her husband, (embalming wasn’t an exact science in the 1870’s). Accounts of the day suggest that some of Gould’s enemies on Wall Street had the casket sealed so there was no way he could ever show up to wreak havoc again. The London Times obit summed up Gould’s life best when it declared, “All honor to the greatest money maker of any age or clime. He was less a man than a machine for churning wealth. Napoleon’s combinations were never vaster…. It will be impossible to explain one phase of civilization without a frequent mention of his name.”
Text and photos © 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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