Memorial Park Cemetery (Memphis, Tennessee)

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Sculptures of Dionicio Rodriguez at Memorial Park Cemetery
Crystal Shrine Grotto.jpg
Entrance to the Crystal Shrine Grotto
Memorial Park Cemetery (Memphis, Tennessee) is located in Tennessee
Memorial Park Cemetery (Memphis, Tennessee)
Memorial Park Cemetery (Memphis, Tennessee) is located in the US
Memorial Park Cemetery (Memphis, Tennessee)
Location Memphis, Tennessee
Coordinates 35°6′30.48″N 89°52′25.05″W / 35.1084667°N 89.8736250°W / 35.1084667; -89.8736250Coordinates: 35°6′30.48″N 89°52′25.05″W / 35.1084667°N 89.8736250°W / 35.1084667; -89.8736250
Architect Rodriguez, Dionicio
Architectural style Concrete construction, imitating wood and natural rock. Artificial rock formations with caves.
NRHP reference # 90001867[1]
Added to NRHP January 31, 1991
Pond and fountain next to the Crystal Shrine Grotto

Memorial Park Cemetery was founded in 1924 by E. Clovis Hinds on initial 54 acres (.22 km2).[2] It is located at 5668 Poplar Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee.

Different species of trees of different ages, as well as bushes, can be found throughout the cemetery, enhancing the atmosphere of a park-like setting.

The cemetery is noted for its Crystal Shrine Grotto, a hand-built cave depicting Biblical scenes built by artist Dionicio Rodriguez.

The cemetery is owned by the private death care industry company, NorthStar Memorial Group, based in Houston.

Crystal Shrine Grotto[edit]

In 1935 Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriguez was hired to beautify the park with sculptures. Annie Laurie’s Wishing Chair, Broken Tree Bench, Abrahams Oak, Pool of Hebron and Cave of Machpelah are some of the most important sculptures that can be found in different locations throughout the cemetery.[2]

In 1938 construction of the Crystal Shrine Grotto began. The grotto is a 60 ft (18.3 m) deep, hand-built cave in a hillside near the center of the cemetery, filled with 5 tons (4.5 t) of quartz crystal, hence the name Crystal Shrine Grotto. The grotto was completed after Rodriguez' death in 1955.[2] The shrines in the grotto illustrate the stages of "Christ's Journey on the Earth from Birth to Resurrection".

Since 1991, the Crystal Shrine Grotto has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places for Tennessee.

Notable burials[edit]

Bobby Bland is buried here. American blues singer

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Memorial Park Cemetery website
  3. ^ Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame: James P. Alley Archived 2009-12-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Magness, Perre, Cohort of Butch, Sundance 'retired' here, Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Jan. 12, 1995, page EC2