There is a place in Buffalo where the built environment is at a premium, though it’s not in a place that you might expect. The Wall Street Journal has posted an article on Million Dollar Mausoleums… where the filthy rich go to finally retire. It’s a list of ‘end of the road’ retirement homes with larger than life amenities such as incredible views, fully decorated rooms, Grecian statues, or in Buffalo’s case, designed by a world renowned architect – Frank Lloyd Wright.
One interesting tidbit of information that I did learn from The WSJ article was that Buffalo’s Blue Sky Mausoleum was originally slated to be built at Forest Lawn Cemetery in 1928. It turns out that the family that commissioned Wright to design the body vault ran out of money and the plans were shelved until 2004. Until now, I thought that the plans had been recovered via a search for unfulfilled Wright designs and purchased from the estate – something similar to our new Wright boathouse or filling station. The fact that the mausoleum had originally been designed for a Buffalo family makes it that much more interesting. From The WSJ:
In Buffalo, N.Y., Forest Lawn Cemetery is using a brand name. The owners built an outdoor, multicrypt mausoleum designed by American architecture’s favorite son, Frank Lloyd Wright. Called the Blue Sky Mausoleum, the 24-crypt structure was designed for Forest Lawn in 1928, but the family that commissioned the Wright design ran out of money. In 2004, the project was resurrected by the cemetery. The crypts are built into a hill overlooking a bucolic tree-lined landscape. The structure ascends like a staircase to a platform with benches. The mausoleum also includes a quote from Wright on the “noble effect” of an open-sky burial. Crypts range from $75,000 to $500,000 each, and five have already sold, said Joseph Dispenza, the president of Forest Lawn. As in the condo market, he expects that the last few crypts will sell for far more than the current asking price.