A Survey and Analysis of Bronze Mausoleum Doors at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, NY
bronze alloy content
Historic Preservation and Conservation
Today, cemeteries face a widespread need for maintenance and upkeep of their memorial structures, particularly of their mausolea. As a major focal point of a mausoleum, the door is one that serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose, putting it at a high priority for maintenance. To create a means for facilitating and prioritizing future maintenance programs of both doors and mausolea, Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, NY was chosen as a case study. As a part of this process, existing conditions were recorded and supplemented with archival research and scientific analysis. In order to create a system of recording over 1,200 sets of mausoleum doors at Woodlawn effectively and efficiently, a standardized examination form was designed to collect and present archival data in conjunction with present conditions, then tested on a sample size of twenty-six mausolea in the Lake plot of the cemetery. Additional archival research was completed to develop an understanding of trends in fabrication of bronze architectural elements. As a supplement to this information, analytical methods—including optical microscopy, metallography, SEM-EDS, and FTIR and Raman spectroscopies—were performed on a sample from the Lucien Warner mausoleum to better understand the bronze alloys, corrosion products and coatings commonly found at Woodlawn.