Structure Type: built works - religious structures - cemeteries

Designers: Brown, A. Page, Architect (firm); Arthur Page Brown (architect)

Dates: constructed 1888

1 story

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Oakland, CA

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One of the "Big Four" owners of the Central Pacific Railroad, Charles Crocker died in 1888 in New York. His widow commissioned San Francicsco architect A. Page Brown to design this Neo-classical mausoleum for the Mountain View Cemetery, where many Bay Area luminaries of the 19th century were buried. Crocker's mausoleum occupied space next to that of Samuel Merritt (1822–1890) a physician and important early landowner in the Oakland-Alameda area.

Building History

Society architect A. Page Brown (1859-1896), came to know Mary Ann Deming Crocker (1827-1889), wife of the powerful railroad man, Charles Crocker (1822-1888) in New York, NY. Following her husband's death in 1888, Mary Ann invited Brown to move to San Francisco, CA, where she asked him to design Charles's mausoleum in an exclusive section of Mountain View Cemetery. The mausoleum of the early Oakland landowner and physician, Samuel Merritt (1822–1890), stood next door.

Crocker was actually injured in a New York carriage accident in 1886, but he never recovered his health and died two years later in Monterey, CA. The architect, A. Page Brown, also died from injuries sustained from a horse-and-buggy accident on 10/07/1896 near Burlingame, CA.

Building Notes

For Crocker's Mausoleum, Brown created a design based on a Greek choragic monument, the best known of which was the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates of 335/334 BCE. British architects Stuart and Revett in their book of measured drawings, Antiquities of Athens, (London: J. Haberkorn, 1762), popularized the monument for Anglo-American architects. It became an popular decorative motif in the early 1800s Greek Revival era (particularly as a building cupola). The Beaux-Arts trained Brown, however, would not have used the choragic form indiscriminately, as he knew it was appropriate for funerary purposes.

The monument was illustrated in the American Architect and Building News, 12/27/1890, no. 783, in a plate.

PCAD id: 17545