Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chapel of the Chimes

The Chapel of the Chimes is a crematorium and columbarium in Oakland, located at the top of Piedmont Ave. It stands directly outside the gates to Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery. The city of Oakland designated the Chapel of the Chimes as a distinguished city landmark in 1999.

The Chapel of the Chimes was first opened in 1909, though the current building is the result of a large-scale redevelopment of the property that dates to 1928. Lawrence F. Moore, the then business manager of the Chapel of the Chimes, hired local Bay Area architect Julia Morgan to design the new facility. The result was what some have described as her masterwork, a design with accents of both Moorish and Gothic design. Morgan designed an intimate interior space with a series of interconnected galleries, rooms, and gardens, all of which were to be lit by natural light sources during the day.

Mountain View Cemetery was one of the first places that I explored by bike after I had moved to Oakland. I love that it's quiet, and that you can ride your bike to the very top of the cemetery where there is an absolutely stunning view of Oakland, the bay, and San Francisco. If you time your trip right and get there in the relatively early spring the cemetery will be overflowing with tulips that have been planted in the beds over the years.

Getting There By Bike...
It couldn't be easier, just ride your bike to the top of Piedmont Ave.  It's on the left before you go into the gates of Mountain View Cemetery. Please be aware that this is still an active chapel. When I went by there was a funeral service in progress and a number of mourners and family members were waiting outside. Please be respectful of any services that may be ongoing.

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