Update: The former owner, Marilyn Stanza, sold the property in 2016 as part of a settlement with the former attorney general of Missouri, Chris Koster, which also included surrendering her undertaker’s license. Stanza died in 2018. The new owner, William C. Harris, Jr., is renovating the mausoleum and cemetery. See historic photos of the cemetery and mausoleum from a brochure. Despite many sources describing the architecture of this mausoleum as “Byzantine Revival,” that is not a correct description; it is Beaux-Arts.
Things are not going well for the Oak Grove Mausoleum and Cemetery. It’s been sued by the attorney general of Missouri, Chris Koster, and it appears to be adrift financially. It seems that taxpayers will eventually have to salvage the situation.
I was trying to be nice about the owner, who once graciously welcomed me to the cemetery. But it has gotten so bad, and it’s so blatantly obvious that the condition of the mausoleum and grounds are in a tailspin, that it’s time for action, regardless of people’s feelings.
I felt like I was “off-roading” last summer and this weekend when I drove some of the roads, which are being reduced to gravel after 2014’s rough winter and lack of maintenance. Last summer, my passenger had to jump out of my car and move a large tree branch that had fallen over the road in front of us. Not kidding.
And there are dead trees everywhere. Honestly, the place creeps me out like few other places in the St. Louis region.