1879 - Mortuary Chapel, Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ripraff
N 43° 01.850 W 076° 08.366
18T E 407172 N 4764868
Quick Description: The Mortuary Chapel at Oakwood Cemetery was built by renown architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee. "He has gone down in the history books because... In 1887, he was the first Chicago architect to give young Frank Lloyd Wright a job."
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 7/18/2017 6:32:49 AM
Waymark Code: WMW70R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 7

Long Description:
Silsbee blog (visit link)
"The chapel is part of a large historic non-sectarian rural cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery, in the city of Syracuse. Like the chapel, much of the cemetery is in various states of ruin and dis-repair...It is a very compelling piece of architecture in a very rare, almost exotic, landscape setting. It is also unique because relatively few structures of this type were ever built. Since the designer of the structure was a very talented one, it is also imbued with a plethora of artistic design touches that are lacking in modern structures. I think that is at this level that the building appeals to people and may be the reason for its salvation...Construction on the chapel started in 1879 and was championed by Elias Leavenworth. Leavenworth was a local lawyer, politician and one time mayor of the City of Syracuse...He was one of the proponents of the establishment of Oakwood cemetery and was personally involved in the design and construction of the mortuary chapel...The Oakwood Cemetery Association hired local architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee as its designer...It is composed of intricately carved and detailed local limestone and accented with imported granite. The decorative motifs are a playful array of classical, exotic and macabre elements. Spider webs and foliate forms grace the exterior and a large dragon in the form of an “O,” for “Oakwood," graces the pediment at the base of the chapel’s seventy foot tall tower. The interior boasts a high degree of carpentry work with ornamental beams, ceiling and trim that echo forms seen on the exterior of the structure. The floor is part wood and partially laid with art-tiles. At one point, the building was also home to an array of beautiful art glass...many of the historic features of the structure are still intact including the exterior stone work, vaulted wood ceiling of the porte-cochere, interior wood ceiling and wainscot, glazed brick walls and tile floors. Much of it is in a state of disrepair but none of it seems to be beyond the point of no return. "
Year of construction: 1879

Full inscription:
Oakwood 1879


Cross-listed waymark: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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LCSM visited 1879 - Mortuary Chapel, Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, NY 1/4/2020 LCSM visited it
mTn_biKer65 visited 1879 - Mortuary Chapel, Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, NY 3/16/2019 mTn_biKer65 visited it

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