Beecher Mausoleum To Host Open House, Celebrates ‘Historic Place’ Designation

Beecher Mausoleum one of only 10 structures to make the list for endangered historic buildings

May 16, 2013 – Beecher Herald – staff reporter

The Beecher Mausoleum, a Will County historic landmark built 100 years ago, has been recognized by the State of Illinois as an endangered historic place.

Sandra, at press conferance 5.2013Bonnie Mc Donald, Senator Mc Cann 5.2013At an official press conference Tuesday, April 30, Landmarks Illinois, a statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, named ‘community mausoleums’ to their list of 10 most endangered historic places, a list compiled every year since 1995.

Although dozens of applications are received each year, only 10 make the annual list.

“It is a great achievement for the Beecher Mausoleum to be included in the state’s top 10 endangered list,” said Sandra Lee Thielman, president of the Beecher Mausoleum Association, the management board overseeing the mausoleum, and the Guardian Angels not-for-profit organization, established to restore and preserve the site.

The Beecher Mausoleum was one of two mausoleums specifically highlighted by Landmarks Illinois to represent the community mausoleum category. The other was the Fernwood Mausoleum in Roodhouse, Green County. The two are representative of between an estimated 50 and 100 mausoleums across the state that may also be in peril.

Beecher’s mausoleum was built during the height of the community mausoleum movement in the early part of the 20th century. Constructed in 1913, the Beecher Mausoleum was designed by Cecil Bryan, a renowned Chicago architect and engineer who once worked with Frank Lloyd Wright.

The neoclassical building is made of reinforced concrete with a Bedford stone veneer and white marble interior.

Next weekend, the mausoleum board will host a two-day open house to honor war veterans interred there.

Beecher Mausoleum open house flyerThe event will take place at the Beecher Mausoleum, from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27, to commemorate the Memorial Day holiday and to honor those veterans interred there. The mausoleum is the final resting place for several of the early citizens of Beecher who served in World Wars I and II, as well as in the Civil War.

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