Even cemeteries, designed for perpetuity, evolve over the years as needs and tastes change. In 1965, Lakewood Cemetery built a new mausoleum. Designed by Detroit architects Harley, Ellington, Cowan & Stirton, the Modernist structure fit the mood of the times. Southdale, the nation’s first modern shopping center, had opened just nine years earlier. Located 5 miles southwest of Lakewood, Southdale offered a climate-controlled experience for Minnesota shoppers. To the north, skyways were being built in downtown Minneapolis. It was in this context that Lakewood offered its newest building. A mausoleum offered practical benefits in a winter climate, after all; “there,” proclaimed Lakewood’s advertisements, “above ground interment, free from the elements, permits visitations by loved ones in pleasant, comfortable surroundings … regardless of season.” Lakewood’s Memorial Mausoleum, called a “new symbol of dignity and memory” in 1965, has endured the test of time, and remains as relevant and dignified today as it did in the 1960s.
Learn more about the museum and its offerings at hennepinhistory.org or 870-1329.