There are a number of Bay Area treasures here on the Cypress Lawn grounds. Some people think visiting a cemetery is a bit odd or even macabre, but those who visit Cypress Lawn feel very differently. Once you experience the history, the natural beauty, and the amazing visual expressions of love and respect to those who are buried here, you will feel the same way.
While you plan your trip, here are some sights you’ll want to make sure is on your list:
1.) Noble Chapel
Created in 1892, Noble Chapel really is the heart of Cypress Lawn. It was named after our founder, Hamden Holmes Noble, and it truly is a work of art with its stunning stained glass and brickwork. It was designed by architect Thomas Paterson Ross, who patterned the chapel after St. Giles Church in Stoke Poges, England.
In 2014, the chapel underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration to save and rekindle its enduring character. We invite you to tour the chapel during your next visit to Cypress Lawn.
2.) The Stained Glass of Cypress Lawn
While you’re here, be sure to step inside the mausoleum behind the administration building. Within its walls you will find some of the most stunning stained glass in America, including 36,000 square feet of glass ceilings.
Cypress Lawn founder Hamden Holmes Noble called upon architect Bernard Cahill, a specialist in mausoleum design and mortuary architecture, to rebuild the administration building (destroyed in the earthquake of 1906) and build the mausoleum. Cahill believed that light and color would be an answer to the grief of death.
Also, don’t miss the sophisticated stained glass in the Tiffany Chapel, the main chapel of Cypress Lawn. The sanctuary is warm and bright as natural light shines through the expertly executed stained glass windows.
3.) The Arboretum
This space is dedicated to trees indigenous to Northern California. Some of these beautiful specimens have called our grounds home for decades – and others, a century or more. Scientists come from all over to study their growth and enjoy the landscape. You too can walk among these beautiful branches.
4.) Famous Graves
A number of famous – and infamous – people call Cypress Lawn their final resting place. Here are just a few:
- Lincoln Beachey, daredevil aviator who lived in the early part of the 20th century
- Timothy Phelps, U.S. Congressman
- David Broderick, first U.S. Senator from California
- Calvin Simmons, first African-American conductor of a major U.S. symphony
- William Randolph Hearst, journalist
- Hiram Johnson: Governor and Senator from California, ran as Teddy Roosevelt’s Vice-President in the 1912 election
- Charles de Young: pioneer journalist, a founder of the San Francisco Chronicle
- Harry Flamburis, President of the Daly City chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang
5.) Mosaic Tableaux at Cypress Lawn
Many families who choose cremation for their loved one choose to place their remains in a niche. These niches use a number of different display fronts – some are made of stone, tile, or bronze. Cypress Lawn features two very special niche displays that include breathtakingly beautiful mosaic art. You can find them tucked away on the West Campus – one in the Garden of Light and one in the Garden of Serenity.