A Greek temple dedicated to eternal love
Constructed of Colorado Yule marble, the mausoleum of Henry and Arabella Huntington overlooks the gardens from a knoll in the middle of the orange groves. It was a spot that Mr. Huntington loved. Mr. Huntington selected John Russell Pope, one of America’s most distinguished architects, to design the mausoleum in the form of a Greek temple. Pope believed the classic circular peristyle (or double colonnade) and dome were well suited to the nature of the Huntington grounds because it presented a perfect front from every angle, and was a combination of two perfect forms, the circle and sphere. Pope later used a similar design in the construction of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The weight and mass of the Huntington memorial are balanced between the two extremes of garden temple and mausoleum. The outer colonnade relates to the garden temple with its graceful ornamentation, inviting free play of light and air through the structure; but the second, inner colonnade with its solid masonry piers and free-standing columns present the memorial as a solemn sepulcher.
Sculpted by John Gregory, the mausoleum’s panels represent the four seasons of life and nature. For each season a verse was chosen and inscribed on the masonry, to reinforce the association of each season with one of the four stages of life.
At the front of the sarcophagus, which faces north, there is an inscription which makes a simple statement of the intent and purpose of the building. The inscription focuses upon the relationship between the two people interred, Henry Edwards Huntington, and Arabella Duval Huntington, making explicit the deepest and most essential meaning of the marble monument.
HENRY EDWARDS HUNTINGTON
BORN AT ONEONTA N.Y.
FEBRUARY TWENTY SEVENTH EIGHTEEN
HUNDRED AND FIFTY
DIED AT PHILADELPHIA PENNSYLVANIA
MAY TWENTY THIRD NINETEEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEVEN
and ARABELLA DUVAL HUNTINGTON HIS WIFE
BORN AT UNION SPRINGS ALABAMA
JUNE FIRST EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY
DIED AT NEW YORK N.Y.
SEPTEMBER SIXTEENTH NINETEEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR