Monday, May 6, 2024

Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel | Oakwood Cemetery

Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel | Oakwood Cemetery 

As a photographer, access to unique and beautiful spaces is everything, especially if they hold historical significance. This evening, I had the privilege of being granted access to the Gardner Earl Crematorium in Oakwood Cemetery. The shoot was planned to capture the ethereal play of sunlight through the stained glass, particularly in the room known as The Gorgeous Room, where colored light dances on the walls in the afternoon. The intricate handiwork adorning every detail of the sandstone, mosaic, and marble did not fail to impress.

The Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel is a prime example of Romanesque architecture and serves as a centerpiece in Oakwood Cemetery. Built in 1890, it reflects the wealth and grandeur of Troy during the Industrial Revolution and Gilded Age. Named after Gardner Earl, a member of a prominent Troy family, the decision to include a crematorium was groundbreaking for the time, inspired by Earl's exposure to the practice in Europe.

Designed by Albany architect Albert Fuller, the chapel features pink-tinted Westerly granite on the exterior and elegant interior elements like Tiffany stained-glass windows and quarter-sawn oak furnishings. The reception room is equally impressive with its stained glass windows, marble walls, and onyx columns.

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