Blue Shy Mausoleum

 

Buffalo's Forest Lawn Cemetery dates back to 1849.  It is set on a beautiful land full of a variety of mature trees, gentle hills, dabbling brooks, picturesque bridges and a small lake - Mirror Lake.  One of two main entrances is located at the intersection of Delaware and Delavan Avenues.  The small, classically inspired office building of grey granite is located here.  You can stop in for a map which includes highlights of the cemetery.  Be careful, however, the roads twist and turn and it is very easy to lose your way.  To avoid getting lost, you may just want to stick to the yellow &/or white lines painted down the middle of the road.  They will always lead to an exit, so you shouldn't get lost. 


In his pioneering concept for Blue-Sky Mausoleum, Frank Lloyd Wright “broke the box” of memorial architecture tradition. His design fully manifests his principle of “organic” architecture. The structure is integrated into the landscape, and its granite echoes the stone of nearby monuments. The blue sky is its ceiling, and living greens gently suggest its walls. The edifice overlooks a peaceful pond.

In this serene setting, visitors feel the eternal connections between earth and sky, and lives present and past.

Blue-Sky Mausoleum is located in Forest Lawn, Buffalo, New York – the cemetery for which it was designed. This venerable yet vital organization owns a distinctive place in American history and has long been regarded as a visionary leader among its peers.

One Victorian monument which should not be missed is the Blocher Memorial [ pronounced bloker].  It consists of a large, very ornate gazebo like structure built of granite with life size marble statues within.  They represent the Blocher family: mother, father, and son.  Their only child, a son, has died a premature death, and his parents, in their grief, erected this monument in his memory.  The story goes that the son had fallen in love with one of the family's maids.  His parents strongly disapproved of such a union so they sent the son on an extended holiday to Europe, (where they figured he would soon forget his love), while dismissing the maid.  When the son had returned, the first thing he asked for was HER.  But alas, his parents had no notion that their son would fall ill and presumably die of a heartache - never to have been married, and leaving them no heirs.  In the memorial, their son is shown reclining on a chaise with a book on his lap; his parents are standing on either side of him.  Suspended on the wall behind him is a sculpture of a very sensuous female angel, garlanded and nude from the waist up.  Her face is said to be that of the family's maid! 

If you'd like to learn more about this story, and hear many others, during the warm weather the cemetery offers trolley tours (for a fee) on the weekends.   Or, just grab a map from the office and take yourself on a tour of the cemetery - it's a beautiful location with lots of interesting history and sights to see! The 2012 season is offering more tours than ever with emphasis on the War of 1812, Forest Lawn Art and Landscape and Behind the Scenes tours. Check the Forest Lawn website for a complete listing.