Historic Preservation at Crown Hill

The historic preservation at Crown Hill Cemetery is a cornerstone of the mission of the Crown Hill Foundation. With over 159 years’ worth of structures, the preservation of the cemetery is more important than ever. It ensures that the past is preserved for many generations to come. In 2022, we focused on a variety of tasks, including inventorying, restoration and cleaning.

Working with Head Restoration Co. out of Houston, TX, the restoration on three private family mausoleums was completed. Mausoleums are complex projects. They are structures with all the issues of buildings, except they have the added concerns of human remains. Joints need to be tuck pointed, roofs need to be in place and properly attached to the walls, and entryways must secure the building, while keeping out moisture. However, along with being a building, a mausoleum is a place for entombments, with human remains in above-ground crypts. Interior preservation issues include cleaning the stone walls and crypt fronts; assuring the interior vaults are secure for the entombments; and making it is safe to enter for visiting loved ones.

This summer, dealing with these principles, we worked on the Caleb Blood Smith Mausoleum, the Cunningham Mausoleum and the Diehl Mausoleum. See more photos and learn more here.

While the Head Restoration Co. staff worked on the monuments, staff from the Crown Hill Foundation worked on cleaning and inventorying gravestones on burial sections. Inventorying is necessary to know the status of gravestones in the cemetery, prioritize the work that needs to be done and understand the collection of gravestones. To date, only a small portion has been inventoried; over 5,000 gravestones were cataloged this summer. In addition to inventorying gravestones, over 50 were cleaned. Staff focused on gravestones included in organized tours or tours found on the website (like the Racing Legends). Find the tours here.

Jeannie Regan-Dinius, Director of Historic Preservation