When Julia Morgan designed the Chapel of the Chimes columbarium in Oakland, California, she must have had in mind the verse from John 14:2: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” The building is composed of a multitude of intimate rooms, connected by passages and stairways like the leaves of a tree. If the rooms are leaves, the branches and trunk are the atriums, each containing a small garden and awash with light from a glass roof. Stained glass created by Marian Simpson punctuates the design.
A newer addition designed by Frank Loyd Wright’s firm is of a more modern, open design, while remaining harmonious with Morgan’s original expression, if not her intent.
Note: Out of respect for the families of people interred at the Chapel of the Chimes, I have made some of the names unreadable. Photography in the chapel must always be done with deference to families who are mourning or remembering loved-ones.