Waiting Station and Gothic Gate (1885)
Crown Hill Cemetery’s original main entrance stood on what is now Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street. Built by John Pattison at a cost of $2,300, it consisted of a main central gate flanked by two narrower gates. It was opened on July 30, 1864, and razed in 1901.
Its replacement, which stood at the southwest corner of the cemetery, featured a Bedford limestone archway designed by Indianapolis architect Herbert Foltz. This entrance was closed in 1965 and demolished the following year due to the construction of nearby I-65 Interstate Highway.
Since 1885, the cemetery’s most impressive entrance has been at the intersection of 34th Street and Boulevard Place. In Crown Hill’s early days, 34th Street was a tree-shaded lane connecting the cemetery to the Westfield Pike (now Illinois Street). The triple arched Gothic Gates and the adjoining Waiting Station Building were designed by Indianapolis architect Adolph Scherrer and completed just in time for the funeral procession of Vice President Thomas A. Hendricks on November 30, 1885. Originally the cemetery’s administrative office, the Waiting Station is a stone-trimmed brick structure with decorative encaustic tile. Its interior is decorated with intricately carved oak and cherry woodwork, and it features wooden venetian blinds, among the first installed in the United States.
Historic Landmarks of Indiana restored the Waiting Station between 1970 and 1971, after which it served as their offices until 1990. The Life Center, a grief counseling organization, used it as a headquarters in the early 1990s. By 1996, the Waiting Station had been returned to Crown Hill’s use and it underwent renewed restoration in 2001.
To the south of the main entrance archway stands a sentry house. This was designed by the architectural firm of Vonnegut and Bohn and added in 1904.