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The Columbarium

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 15 June 2009 in Architecture and Portfolio.

Assuming one is into this kind of thing - I know of know finer place on earth to have some human ashes hauled than this stunning structure. Operated by the non-profit Neptune Society - The Columbarium is well hidden on a small cul-de-sac in San Francisco's Anza Vista neighborhood. It offers an affordable alternative to burying a loved one's remains within the terra firma.

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Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

cracking shot, nice one

15 Jun 2009 5:43am

Mirko Herzner from Germany

Fine architecture here. I like the framing of this shot.

15 Jun 2009 6:28am

yz from Budapest, Hungary

fantastic structure, great framing

15 Jun 2009 7:23am

Marcie from United States

Amazing how you managed to capture this all in one frame. Love the color and detail.

15 Jun 2009 12:10pm

Chris from South Jersey, United States

cool wide angle shot, but a little overexposed (I would love to see the detail in that overhead window). An interesting "burial" place - I had never heard of such a place......

15 Jun 2009 1:55pm

Karthik from Chennai, India

WOW!!! How do you do it????? Beautiful details.

15 Jun 2009 3:52pm

Dulcie from Danville, United States

I really like this shot...AND the building. I never knew it existed in SF. Thanks for that!

15 Jun 2009 6:45pm

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

wow -- so how does it work? you get housed away forever here instead? what if they fill up? :)

15 Jun 2009 10:17pm

@dj.tigersprout: Built in 1898 - there are 7700 niches - and some are available. Here's Wikipedia's entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbarium_of_San_Francisco

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

No way!!! I've never heard of a place like this.....It's a beautiful place, and you got a wonderful shot.....yikes, they store "bodies", "whole bodies" ???? When do they run out of room??????

15 Jun 2009 10:27pm

@Susan: Susan - you missed my reference to 'ashes hauled' - this is a place for urns of ashes. I'm not exactly sure of the details on how spaces are assigned. There are a total of approximately 7700 'niches' inside. Niches are available. It is a wonderful idea. My dad's ashes are at the military cemetery at Eagle Point, Oregon. I rarely get there. This place is easy to get to and you can meditate and 'visit' with the departed on a rainy day with complete comfort.

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

You're absolutely right,,,, i missed the ashes part...that makes much more sense.....i understand what you mean that you rarely get to visit your dad's ashes....but then again, if you didn't live "near" this place, you'd have the same dilemma......I wonder, do they only store human ashes here? I know 'someone" who has a "collection" of her animal ashes.....some of us think she's kind of morbid, with an "animal shrine" in her house....(i won't mention who....but she's closely related to me!!)

16 Jun 2009 1:39am

@Susan: Susan - San Francisco is small at just over 44 square miles. So the cemeteries were moved out long ago. You can read a bit of the Columbarium's history - here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbarium_of_San_Francisco

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

An impressive dome…

16 Jun 2009 6:56pm

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Wow! Magnificent

8 Jul 2009 1:05am