Mount Auburn Cemetery
Bigelow Chapel and New Crematory

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Project

Bigelow Chapel and New Crematory

Client

Mount Auburn Cemetery

Location

Watertown, MA

Completion

2018

Size

10,400 GSF

Category

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

2020 AIA New England Design Excellence Honor Award

2020 BSA Harleston Parker Medal Finalist

2020 BSA Design Excellence Honor Award

2020 Architect’s Newspaper ‘Best Of’ Design Award - Institutional Religious Building Honorable Mention

2020 Architect’s Newspaper ‘Best Of’ Design Award - Restoration and Preservation Honorable Mention

2020 Faith and Form Magazine / IFRAA Religious Architecture Renovation Award

2020 IES Boston Section Interior Lighting Design Illumination Merit Award

2019 Preservation Massachusetts Frederick 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

Landscape Architect | Halvorson | Tighe & Bond Studio

Lighting Consultant | Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

AV Consultant | Acentech

Photographer | Robert Benson