There are no fifty acres in the world more angelic than the East side of Cypress Lawn Memorial Park. What is even more remarkable is that with few exceptions, we do not know exactly who executed these handcrafted stone masterpieces. They were commissioned from local monument makers and produced by anonymous, mostly Italian and German, workers.
In the nineteenth century, angels, as the intermediaries between humans and God, were a prolific memorial icon. There are three types of angels: the triumphant, looking to heaven as a better place; the mourning, grieving over the loss of a loved one; and pensive.
For two of Cypress Lawn most notable and photographed angles, we know the sculptors.
By Antonio Bernieri (after William Wetmore Story) for Jennie Roosevelt Pool, cousin of Teddy Roosevelt
By Rupert Schmid for John Larkin, instrumental in the creation of California as a state in 1850 and regarded as the “father” of Monterey
The archangel Michael guards the Louis Drexler memorial
This is just a small sampling of our stone angels, who are kept company by bronze and stain glass specimens.
This outdoor museum is open to the public and free. Take a stroll through heaven.
Terry Hamburg, Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation