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Glendale Cemetery builds columbarium

11/15/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

WEST AKRON — Akron’s oldest cemetery now offers a new burial option. Glendale Cemetery, established in 1839 as the Akron Rural Cemetery, has added a columbarium.

The structure is built of cut limestone with rows of granite-faced compartments, according to Glendale Chief Operating Officer Steve Kaut. Each compartment or niche is big enough to handle two sets of cremated remains.

“The trend toward cremation is becoming more accepted now,” Kaut said, “and the trustees of the nonprofit cemetery wanted to be able to meet today’s needs.”

Glendale spent more than $125,000 to lay the groundwork to build the first columbarium, and two more will be added on either side of the original. The Cemetery Board of Trustees did not want to use standard commercial prefabricated structures, and local architect Phil Steinberg and landscape architect John Vittum collaborated to design a structure that would be appropriate for this historical cemetery, according to Glendale officials.

The structure is set into a hillside that will be planted with rhododendrons and flowering dogwood trees. There is a gateway entrance into the area, which also includes an area for in-ground burial of ashes. The columbarium is located on the cemetery’s main road that includes more than a dozen mausoleums of prominent Akron community leaders and industrialists.

“The design was intended to fit into the style of the other mausoleums in the area,” Vittum said.

According to Kaut, the cost of columbarium niches with space for two sets of ashes is compatible to the cost of two in-ground plots large enough for caskets.

 

Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.

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