03 June 2009

The Art of Mountain View Cemetery Oakland, CA

Originally when I was attempting to come up with an idea for this post I was going to do a history on an individual person, which I'll save for later. But after going through what pictures I have I decided that the reason I fell in love with this cemetery wasn't a single person. This is probably the most beautiful cemetery I've visited to date and I get excited every time I know I'll be going. Mountain View Cemetery is located at 5000 Piedmont Avenue Oakland, CA. It was established in 1863 by a group of East Bay Pioneers under the California Rural Cemetery Act of 1859. The layout was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who also designed New York City's Central Park and much of Stanford University. This cemetery boasts many beautiful statues, lush green lawns and beautiful trees surrounded by elaborate tombs built by many pioneers of the Oakland and San Francisco area. This cemetery is home to many famous people such as Edson Adams who designed the layout of the city of Oakland, Elizabeth Short (The Black Dahlia), The Ghiradelli family of the Ghiradelli Chocolate Company, Jeremiah C. Sullivan, Union Army general and staff member of Ulysses S. Grant, and Andre Hicks known as the Bay Area rapper Mac Dre who's grave I have yet to find but will be looking for next time I go there, just to name a few. As I learn more about these cemeteries myself I will definitely be revisiting them to gain more information and insight into the lives of the people buried here.
Probably the most intriguing thing I noticed in Mountain View Cemetery were the pyramids located here. Yes some of the people actually buried themselves in pyramids. The largest of these belonging to William M. Gwin (1805-1885) - One of California's first two U.S. Senators. You can not possibly understand the beauty and intricacies of this tomb unless you see it for yourself. It's funny that looking around the web there isn't any information as to why someone would choose a pyramid as their final resting place. Perhaps somebody out there knows some more information on this. There will be plenty more to come on this cemetery because I already have plenty more to talk about...For more information on this cemetery please visit their website.

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