McGinley Kalsow & Associtates

Photograph: Copyright © 2009 Richard Cheek

  Bigelow Chapel Restoration
Mount Auburn Cemetery

Watertown/Cambridge, Massachusetts
2007 Watertown Historical Commission Preservation Award

Originally built in 1846 in a Gothic Revival style, Bigelow Chapel is a central structure illustrating the Mount Auburn Cemetery’s importance of linking a network of building landmarks to the landscape.  The Chapel, constructed of Quincy granite, has served as a non sectarian chapel for funeral and memorial services. The building has had a full history of renovations, beginning with a complete dismantling and rebuilding just nine years following construction due to structural problems, a complete interior remodeling in 1923, and the addition of a crematory annex in 1970.   

In 2004 McGinley Kalsow & Associates wrote an existing conditions report on the exterior condition of the chapel. The report identified structural problems at some of the flamboyant Gothic pinnacles, as well as roofing slate and flashings that had reached the end of useful life. A restoration project was undertaken which involved dismantling and rebuilding some of the granite pinnacles, replacement of slate roofs and copper flashings, repointing of the granite masonry, and repair and painting of stained glass and wood windows.  

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