Chapel of the Chimes (Oakland, California)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 37°49′55″N 122°14′44″W / 37.83189°N 122.24569°W / 37.83189; -122.24569

Interior of the chapel.
Interior of the columbarium, with book-shaped cinerary urns.
Reference no.129

Chapel of the Chimes was founded as California Electric Crematory in 1909 as a crematory and columbarium at 4499 Piedmont Avenue, at the entrance of Mountain View cemetery in Oakland, California. The present building dates largely from a 1928 redevelopment based on the designs of the architect Julia Morgan.[1] The Spanish Gothic architecture features Moorish motifs and the interior is a maze of small rooms featuring ornate stonework, statues, gardens, fountains and mosaics.


Exterior of the chapel.

The chapel originates with a crematory built in 1909 by the California Crematorium Association on the site of a trolley car station; the old structure still has train schedules on the wall. Architect Julia Morgan was hired to expand the facility; the new crematory and columbarium were dedicated on Memorial Day 1928, named Chapel of the Chimes for the chimes in the tower. Architect Aaron Green, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, subsequently contributed six additions over 24 years, including mausoleums.[2]

The building maintains its original functions, and also serves as the venue for annual music festivals on the winter and summer solstices.[3]

The chapel's owners operate funeral homes and cemeteries, not designed by Morgan, in Hayward, also under the name Chapel of the Chimes, as well as Sunset Lawn Chapel of the Chimes in Sacramento.[4]

Chapel of the Chimes holds the records of the Chapel of Memories on Pleasant Valley Avenue.

Garden of Memory[edit]

Garden of Memory
Garden of Memory Oakland.jpg
GenreElectronic music, experimental music
DatesEvening of the summer solstice
Location(s)Chapel of the Chimes (Oakland, California)
Years active1996–present
WebsiteGarden of Memory

Garden of Memory has been held 1996–present; this is a columbarium walk-through event held every year on the evening of the summer solstice.[5] It features over 40 musicians performing on unique instruments, or compositions designed for the event. The sound is often electronic or electro-acoustic in source and then electronically processed.[6]

Notable interments[edit]

Notable burials include the following:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chapel of the Chimes Oakland. "Chapel of the Chimes Oakland – Oakland, CA". Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "A Piece of History: Chapel of the Chimes Oakland". Chapel of the Chimes Oakland. June 29, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  3. ^ "a columbarium walk-through event at the Chapel of the Chimes". Garden of Memory. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  4. ^ [1] Archived December 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Jason Victor Serinus. "A mystical, musical garden of memory". San Francisco Examiner. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  6. ^ "Garden of Memory - a columbarium walk-through event at the Chapel of the Chimes".

External links[edit]