Calvary Cemetery is the final resting place of many of Milwaukee’s earliest, most prominent citizens, like Solomon Juneau and Frederick Miller. Hundreds of priests and religious are also buried at this Catholic cemetery, which was consecrated by Archbishop John Martin Henni in 1857, before the Civil War. Calvary contains many striking mausoleums dating back well over a century, as well as several elegant historic buildings. The small domed chapel on the hill was designed by Erhard Brielmaier, the same architect who designed the Basilica of Saint Josaphat on the South Side.
From the Friends of Calvary Cemetery website:
Built in 1899, the historic Calvary Cemetery Chapel is the focal point of Milwaukee’s oldest Catholic cemetery. The chapel rests on one of Milwaukee’s highest elevation points, providing spectacular views of the city including Downtown, Miller Park, and the Story Hill neighborhood.
Erhard Brielmaier, architect famous for the Basilica of St. Josaphat, designed the chapel for prayer services and as clerical mausoleum. The upper level of the chapel has a raised sanctuary, two side altars, soaring arches and a central dome. The lower level is a unique bi-level mausoleum containing forty-five crypts.
Thankfully, plans are underway to restore this small chapel. Check out the Friends of Calvary Cemetery website to see some remarkable photos of the chapel’s interior. How wonderful it would be to have Mass offered once more in this sacred space for the repose of those buried here!
* All the historical information in this post is from the Friends of Calvary Cemetery website. It’s an excellent resource, so be sure to check it out for more information on how you can help preserve these beautiful Milwaukee landmarks.