Queen of Heaven Mausoleum

Gothic Revival meets the 1950’s in this sandstone fortress located 15 miles west of downtown Chicago. The original architectural renderings, drawn in 1954 called for a much sleeker structure and did not include the multi-crocketed finials on the tower, but traditionalists prevailed and the towers and other ornamentation were added. After its construction in 1956, Queen of Heaven became quite popular among Catholics desiring above ground burial. By 1961, a new section, Queen of Angels was added and by 1964 came the final stage, Queen of All Saints. The mausoleum triplex contains over 33,000 crypts, 9000 of which remain to be filled.

Queen of Heaven mausoleum, the world’s largest Catholic mausoleum, contains a stunning display of artwork. Within its chapel, hallways and crypt rooms are 217 stained glass windows, dozens of statues, intricate mosaics, exotic hardwoods and 48 types of marble.

The Queen of Heaven chapel, Our Lady’s Chapel, looks like a regular chapel, but flanking the sides of the chapel are crypts. This style of entombment echoes earlier Christian times when church burial was preferred—the closer to the altar the better the chances of being inched toward heaven by the parishioners’ prayers. The large stained glass window in back of the altar commemorates the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven.
Photo and text © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”” street=”1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside” city=”Chicago” state=”Illinois” zip=”60162″]

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