Most but not all of the notable graves at Graceland Cemetary are located in the far northeast corner, separated from the common folk by the lake and island on which the Burnham grave sits. In contrast to the Burnham grave’s natural ascetic, most of the rest of the rich and powerful of Chicago’s past lie entombed in vast blocks of granite and marble.
It is architect Louis Sullivan’s use of this granite and marble which makes the next two graves notable.
Martin Ryerson Mausoleum
Martin Ryerson (1818-1887) was a lumber merchant and real estate magnate. During his life he commissioned the Chicago firm of Adler & Sullivan to build four office buildings. Louis Sullivan was commissioned to design Ryerson’s mausoleum upon his death in 1887.
Made out of black granite, the Ryerson mausoleum has a very Egyptian look and feel. That, or it looks like the entrance to a dungeon in a Legend of Zelda game.
The Getty Tomb
As impressive as the Ryerson mausoleum is however, it is equaled or surpassed by the tomb which Sullivan designed for the wife of Ryerson’s partner Henry Harrison Getty. The Getty Tomb was commissioned in 1890 for Carrie Eliza Getty.
The Getty Tomb was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1971. Its been described “as near perfection as mortals are allowed to approach” and “the beginning of modern architecture in America.”