Calvary Cemetery Chapel, 5503 West Blue Mound Road, Northwest of County Sta, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, WI
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Northwest of County Sta, Milwaukee, WI
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS WI-350
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N195).
Building/structure dates: 1899 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1950
Significance: The Calvary Cemetery Chapel is one of three buildings located in the oldest extant Roman Catholic cemetery in Milwaukee. The chapel, built in 1899 to replace a large wooden cross, is situated on a knoll which is considered to be the focal point of the cemetery. The chapel was dedicated by the Chancellor of the Diocese, Father A.F. Schinner, on All Souls Day in 1902. Burials in the crypt of the chapel and on the hill were reserved for members of the clergy. In January of 1903, Fr. Aegidius Tarasiewicz was the first and only to be interred in the crypt. Services on Memorial Day and All Souls Day were held in the chapel until approximately 1950, when, for convenience, services began being held at the base of the hill. Currently, the chapel is no longer used and has been sealed shut. The designer of the chapel, Erhard Bridlmaier (1841-1917), was a Milwaukee architect noted for his extensive designs of Catholic churches. Brielmaier is said to have designed in excess of 800 Catholic churches throughout Wisconsin, the United States and Canada. The chapel is a brick cruciform structure with the entry at the west and the north, east, and south elevations being circular apses. The chapel is constructed of of cream city brick (also known as Milwaukee brick) and sits atop a limestone base separated by a limestone water table. The chapel is historically significant because of its surroundings as well as its designer. In 1981, Calvary Cemetery was declared a Milwaukee Landmark and in 1987, it became a historic district. Due to its local historic importance, an organization, "The Friends of Calvary Cemetery" has formed to oversee the repair and restoration of the seriously decayed building. Efforts are being made to restore the chapel and resume services.
Roman Catholic Church
Schinner, Fr. A. F.
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
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