Eagle Cliff Cemetery and the Miles Mausoleum, Revisited

On a lark, I decided to take the short drive (but what feels like a million miles away) from St. Louis to visit Eagle Cliff Cemetery again.

I visited back in February of 2013, and looking back at those photos, I didn’t realize that landscaping had not been completed yet, and also, just how much it was the middle of the winter!

In the late afternoon of mid July, the weather and the light was perfect.

The farmland along the the floodplain stretches out below.

And due to the hard work and dedication of volunteers, and the steady eye of security cameras and neighbors, the Miles Mausoleum continues to be free from graffiti and other vandalism. It is a real amazing success story, and shows what can be accomplished when people work together.

It’s a great example of Neoclassical mausoleum design, showing the influence of the ancient world on the new American Republic’s experiment.

What I particularly love about the Ionic capitals is that they’re sculpted as corner capitals, even though they shouldn’t be! In fact, most art historians agree that the Ancient Greeks thought that Ionic capitals really only worked well on the sides of buildings, and thought that corner Ionic capitals were awkward. Supposedly the Corinthian Order was invented to resolve the issue with corner capitals. I just realized the capital on the right above and below has sadly fractured, most likely due to weathering, sometime in the last seven years. It was still intact in 2013.

The keystone, seen below, is also interesting, with a small face hiding among the foliage.

The two sloping walls have been restored and the embankments have been filled in.

I thought this message on the gravestone was timely in these difficult times.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Mike Matney says:

    Nice article Chris. I really need to get up there and see it.

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