Mount Auburn Cemetery
Bigelow Chapel and New Crematory



Bigelow Chapel and New Crematory


Mount Auburn Cemetery


Watertown, MA




10,400 GSF


Renovations + Additions

A revitalization of the 1845 Bigelow Chapel and a modern, state-of-the-art crematory addition enhanced Mount Auburn’s historic entry precinct. The all glass addition allows uninterrupted, emotionally comforting views in Mount Auburn’s inspirational landscape, looking out over the landscape upon arrival, before finding a more contemplative garden in the internal viewing room where the commitment ceremonies occur.

The recent renovation and expansion underscore the progressiveness of Mount Auburn’s mission with suitable elegance, grace, and aplomb.

Suzanne Stephens, Architectural Record, Feb 2020

In Bigelow Chapel, the colorful rose windows were fully restored while the raised chancel at the altar and lectern were lowered to create truly accessible and more flexible space. Improved lighting and a new fire protection system were seamlessly integrated into the historic fabric. With this restoration along with code and universal design upgrades, Mount Auburn is using Bigelow Chapel for public programs for the first time in decades.

Awards + Recognition

2023 National AIA Interior Architecture Honor Award

2022 BSA Interior Architecture/Interior Design Merit Award

2020 AIA New England Design Excellence Honor Award

2020 Architect's Newspaper AN 'Best Of' Design Institutional Religious Award Honorable Mention

2020 Architect's Newspaper AN 'Best Of' Design Restoration and Preservation Award Honorable Mention

2020 BSA Harleston Parker Medal Finalist

2020 BSA Design Excellence Award

2020 Faith&Form Magazine/IFRAA Religious Architecture Renovation Award

2020 IES Boston Section Illumination Merit Award for Interior Lighting Design

2019 Preservation Massachusetts Fredrick Law Olmstead Award

2019 Victorian Society of America New England Chapter Preservation Award

Project Consultants

Structural Engineer | LeMessurier Consultants, Inc.

Mechanical / Electrical Engineering | RFS Engineering

Civil Engineer | RFS Engineering

Landscape Architect | Halvorson | Tighe & Bond Studio

Lighting Consultant | Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

Acoustical Engineer | Acentech

AV/IT/FP Consultant | RFS Engineering

Photographer | Robert Benson