Louis Sullivan Mausolea in St. Louis and Chicago

I’ve looked at Louis Sullivan’s masterpiece, the Wainwright Tomb in Bellefontaine Cemetery in the past, but a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the other two mausolea designed by the great architect in Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery.

The first one, the Ryerson Mausoleum is relatively conservative, though even in the Egyptian Revival structure there are traces of Sullivan’s innovation, first with the use of black granite and also with the overall proportions, making the tomb stand out from its surroundings.

The Getty Mausoleum is more stereotypically Sullivanesque, with its ornate and anti-classical metalwork and stonework.

Read more about the two mausolea here, at the Graceland Cemetery website.

The contrast between Sullivan’s tombs, and their Neo-Classical, Beaux-Arts neighbors demonstrates just how innovative he was when most architecture still looked to the past for inspiration.

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