Hollywood Forever is home to some of the nation’s most historic mausoleums, as well as to some of its newest and most innovative. Built to accommodate the needs of individuals and families of all sizes, mausoleums offer an alternative to ground burial and a beautiful place for remembrance or placement of cremated remains.
To assist you, we’ve endeavored to answer many of the common questions regarding mausoleum options including:
A mausoleum is a building or structure for the above ground burial of both caskets and cremation urns. A mausoleum may be the final resting place for one individual, a family, or a community.
History and Significance
Throughout human civilization, the great mausoleums of the world have been built to honor and remember leaders, heroes, saints, and even lovers. As monumental acts of remembrance, they also speak to the art, architecture, and aesthetics of the cultures that created them.
The word mausoleum derives from the magnificent structure built for King Mausolus in 305BC – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. A recreation of his tomb complex adorns the top of Los Angeles City Hall.
In Israel, in the old City of Hebron, Abraham is buried in a complex called the Tomb of the Patriarchs. Nearby in Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre still holds the enshrined empty tomb of Jesus.
The Taj Mahal in India is another Wonder of the World. The immense white marble mausoleum was created by a heart broken emperor to remember his beloved wife. Often referred as “a teardrop on the face of eternity”, the Taj is the epitome of love memorialized with art and architecture.
Many mausoleums are also constructed at a smaller scale, and the range and style of those available has grown tremendously in the United States and around the world. Whether community mausoleum, indoor mausoleum, outdoor mausoleum or something else, their increasing popularity has led to a variety of styles and range of expressions. Beautiful, elegant, light-filled places, mausoleums enshrine human memories, emotions, and aesthetics in stone, marble and glass to bear testament against the hand of time to those who come after. As works of art, they speak to the future about a shared past. As places of pilgrimage, they are touchstones of meaning, identity, awe, and wonder for their visitors, dedicated to honoring the life lived with grace and dignity.
Advantages of a Mausoleum
Unlike traditional burial, mausoleum crypts are protected from the elements and Nature in a secure, above ground burial crypt. Rather than soil, the casket is sealed in a dry, ventilated burial chamber.
At Historic cemeteries such as Hollywood Forever, a public mausoleum allows scarce land resources to be utilized for the benefit of more families.
Unlike a private mausoleum, the costs of Architects, Interior Designers, stained glass, statuary, and premium granites and marbles can be shared by everyone who purchases a mausoleum crypt – allowing for aesthetic excellence at affordable pricing.
Unlike traditional ground burials, a grave marker and grave liner are not needed for mausoleum entombment. Neither is an outer burial container (also known as a burial vault).
In many cemeteries, aboveground entombment is the most expensive and premium form of burial. At Hollywood Forever, due to availability, our mausoleum cost is the most affordable form of burial in comparison to a cemetery burial plot.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery offers lawn crypt options, which combines the traditions of grave burial with a mausoleum as the crypt is below ground.
Our open air indoor mausoleum spaces provide shelter and comfort to visitors.
Private Family Mausoleums
As civilization evolved, many of the nobility and wealthy wished to be entombed in mausoleums of a similar style but smaller dimensions
A private family mausoleum can contain both crypts for casket interment as well as niches for cremation inurnment. The simplest mausoleums may be one or two crypts above ground encased in stone while the most impressive have detailed interiors and can accommodate many succeeding generations of one family. Even today, cemeteries like Hollywood Forever feature private family mausoleums whose art deco details emulate the pyramids, tombs, and temples of ancient Egypt.
At Hollywood Forever, our most famous private mausoleum is the William Andrews Clark Jr. mausoleum beautifully situated on an island in Sylvan Lake. Mr. Clark had the building designed and constructed in 1921 at a cost of $500,000.
The Classic Ionic Greek Temple is constructed of solid Georgia White marble. The interior mosaics of Biblical scenes were created by 18 Italian craftsmen over the course of 14 months. The Clark Mausoleum is a monument to a father of the city who founded the LA Philharmonic and funded the Hollywood Bowl. It is also a testament to his time and his taste and survives as an icon of our civic culture.
Hollywood Forever has extensive experience in the design, drafting, pricing, sourcing, and construction of private family mausoleums. We have a network of architects as well as a team of in house builders and masons that can make your vision a monumental reality. If you prefer, you may select your own architect and we can share our memorial construction methods and in-house stone masons to complete your project.
In the last few years, we have designed and installed private family mausoleums with budgets as low as $50,000 and as high as $3,000,000. The private family mausoleum cost is higher than the cost of a community mausoleum, but the memorial to your legacy will be unmatched. Our experienced advisors are available to explore options and locations with you.
Community mausoleums are built to be the final resting place for many people. Hollywood Forever has a long tradition of constructing community and public mausoleums that become landmarks in our city. The Cathedral Mausoleum features soaring ceilings and towering statuary and was open to any member of the public that wished to purchase a crypt within it.
Similar to a private mausoleum, our community mausoleums have many of the same aesthetics, artistry, and architectural materials and flourishes at a more affordable and attainable price. For visitors, the mausoleum offers a sheltered space for contemplation and reflection. Many of our mausoleums also offer private gated family rooms and chapels for those seeking more exclusivity and privacy.
Hollywood Forever’s community mausoleums also allow our urban cemetery to conserve and optimize our remaining land space so that we may serve our community’s burial needs for generations to come. Hollywood Forever continues to build both outdoor (garden mausoleum) and indoor (open air) buildings on an ongoing basis. Many of our clients prefer to purchase these spaces before need which allows them to make affordable monthly payments on terms that are comfortable to them.
The stone exterior of crypts acts as the grave marker or headstone of the mausoleum burial. Bronze plaques or inlaid engraving provide names, dates, and remembrances. Bronze flower vases accommodate the fresh flowers of visitors. Other memorabilia such as porcelain cameo photographs and favorite religious or spiritual symbols help to personalize the marble or granite crypt shutter.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is currently completing the Crescent Garden mausoleum adjacent to the Cathedral Mausoleum. Upon its completion, we will break ground on a five story community mausoleum featuring resplendent views and a sky chapel for funeral services. In the near future, our funeral directors will be able to offer funeral services in the sky chapel with an incomparable view of Los Angeles in all directions.
Community Mausoleum Terms
Single Crypt – a space for one casket burial
Companion Crypt – two casket spaces side-by-side
Lawn Crypt – is a below ground burial crypt
Tandem Crypt – two casket spaces connected length wise
Westminster Crypts – designed for two caskets spaces with one space below floor level; or four caskets spaces with two spaces below floor level.
Cremation Options in Mausoleums
Each of our mausoleums contain beautiful areas for the placement of cremated remains or cremation urns. These areas for cremation are called a columbarium. The individual spaces for cremation burial are called cremation niches.
The average dimensions for a cremation niche begins at heights and widths of 1ft x 1ft. However, many niches are much larger to accommodate a couple of urns or the urns of an entire family (family columbarium).
Some niches have stone fronts for memorialization. Many of our indoor columbaria have secure glass fronted niches, allowing for the display of urns, photographs, and other mementos. With glass fronted niches, families are encouraged to be as creative and expressive as they wish to evoke the personality and the spirit of their loved ones.
How Much Does a Mausoleum Cost?
At Hollywood Forever, the price for a mausoleum space is more economical than ground burial. Mausoleum costs are determined by levels. Traditionally, the lower “touch” and “heart” level crypt spaces cost more than a “sky” or “heaven” upper tier crypt space.
Hollywood Forever Mausoleum pricing starts at $8,250 for ‘G Level’ or ‘Seventh Level’ options in our Crescent Mausoleum (currently under construction). For purchase in advance of need, affordable monthly payments as low as $141 can be arranged.
For couples or two individuals wishing to share adjacent crypts, pricing starts at $12,550 for a True Companion ‘G Level’ crypt with monthly payments as low as $209. Purchasing a space for future need in Hollywood Forever’s Crescent Mausoleum or any of our mausoleum options currently under construction can result in significant pre-development savings.
Many of our families who select spaces in our mausoleums purchase them in advance of need. This allows them to plan ahead with a funeral director to make sure that other family members can have spaces nearby. Also, advance purchase allows families to choose a monthly payment plan on terms that are the most agreeable to them.