Figure 1. Mausoleum of Thomas P. Bayly, 1866. Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA. Photo: author.

In venerable cemeteries older mausolea tend to be built into the hillside, the whole then being covered with earth except for a façade and possibly an entry court. The Bayly mausoleum (figure 1) is one of these.

I post this image because it shows magnificent decay, and I love the reddish browns and greens. The Italians would rightly call this type of place suggestivo, a good word we lack, our ‘suggestive’ more-or-less limited to describe mildly erotic content of which someone disapproves. Suggestivo means something like ‘fascinating,’ ‘enchanting,’ or ‘inspiring.’

I also love how the curbs and other framing elements of the little forecourt are disappearing into the earth as it slumps down from above and builds up with organic detritus from below. I am a romantic at heart, and find this irresistible.

Figure 2. Bayly mausoleum. Inscription over door. Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA. Photo: author.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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