Lucy Stone Memorial Chapel
Jamaica Plain, MA
Nestled into a slight embankment that is off to itself and apart from the centuries-old graves of Forest Hill Cemetery is the Lucy Stone Memorial Chapel. The reason for this chapel’s discrete and segregated location is because this is no ordinary funerary space. The Lucy Stone Memorial Chapel is part of the oldest crematorium and columbarium complex in New England. Completed in 1893, the chapel and crematorium were constructed as one building in the Beaux Arts style. Significant additions were made to the complex in the 1930s that were both stylistically appropriate and respectful of the original facility with its neoclassical interiors.
In 2018, MPSB was asked to develop a phased approach to the restoration of the chapel space. The studio was given a relatively free hand as to the development of design schemes. The only instruction given by the cemetery staff was that any new decorative scheme suggested should respect the chapel’s nondenominational air. It is quite common for the space to host memorial services that are representative of almost every conceivable faith-based group present in the Boston area. With this in mind, MPSB’s selected scheme draws inspiration from examples of both ancient Roman interiors and stylized late-Victorian examples of the Greek Revival.
Many eastern faiths view white as the color of grief and transition. Shades of cream and white served as anchors for a color palette accented by pale blues and gold. Floral bouquets and garlands inspired by those of Pompeian interiors, add a soft elegance to the otherwise strong architectural vocabulary of columns, cornices, and entablatures. The industrial carpeting of recent decades was removed to reveal a simple but elegant marble mosaic tile floor that was lightly restored and polished.
Design & Implementation Team
MPSB Architectural Design Studio
J. W. Graham Painting