Ryerson Mausoleum


In 1887, when architect Louis Sullivan was 31 years old he designed the polished, black granite Ryerson mausoleum. Sullivan’s creation is an artful blending of two Egyptian burial monuments; a pyramid, which crowns the top of the mausoleum and a mastaba, a forerunner of the pyramid, which forms the bottom section.

During the 1880’s Sullivan’s firm, Adler and Sullivan built four office buildings for Martin Ryerson. When he died, his son, Martin A. Ryerson, commissioned Sullivan to design this mausoleum.

Martin Ryerson (1818-1887) left the security of his New Jersey home and got as far as the wilds of Michigan where he became a fur trader, then a general store clerk and finally a sawmill owner. Around 1850 Ryerson opened an office in Chicago for his booming lumber business. Over the next 20 years Chicago became the distribution center for the lumber trade. Ryerson became a wealthy man, first in the lumber business, then by investing in real estate and office buildings.
Photos and text © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”Graceland Cemetery” street=”4001 North Clark Street” city=”Chicago” state=”Illinois” zip=”60613″]

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