Old Mission Mausoleum is located on one acre of land within the Old Mission Cemetery, 21st Street and Hillside Avenue, Wichita, Kansas. The Old Mission Mausoleum has always been a separate and distinct entity from the Old Mission Cemetery. The founder of the mausoleum was Mr. George A. Saxton. During 1918 he purchased the one acre of land within the Old Mission Cemetery with the express purpose of establishing a business enterprise by constructing a community mausoleum. This mausoleum was to be open to all upon payment of the purchase price of a crypt or a family room. A family room consists of five to ten crypts set into an alcove along the main hallways. The alcove opening is secured by a brass gate. During the first phase of the project, in the 1920's, the crypts were priced between $800 and $2500 dollars, and family rooms were $4500 to $10,000 dollars.
The Old Mission Mausoleum was built over a 36-year time span and consists of four units, with Mr. Sidney Lovell, architect of Chicago in charge. Construction of Unit One began May 1919, with a cost set at $200,000. It was to be 128 feet long and 60 feet wide, with 500 crypts. The building was to be of the old Spanish architecture style.
Unit Two construction followed in 1929, with this unit being of the same general type as the main building and about half its size. Bedford limestone is the exterior covering used throughout, along with Vermont marble and bronze trim as interior materials, and upon completion will contain 300 crypts.
Unit Three was completed in 1939 and is a mirror image of Unit Two, being 30 x 120 feet and runs north and south, starting on the east side of Unit One, it contains 320 crypts.
During the 1950's, Mr. Saxton completed this long project with the start of the fourth and final unit of the complex. Unit Four is the largest of the units with 1114 crypts. Again the same materials and attention to detail were used in this final phase of construction. Viewing the mausoleum today, it gives the appearance of being constructed as one continuous project. The Bedford limestone has weathered evenly over the passing of time, and today if viewed from the air the building is a rectangle with a courtyard in the middle.
GPS Coordinates: 37.72426, -97.29674
- Added: 18 Feb 2003
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #1911906
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