Sphinx Statues and Snake Reliefs (Tate) - Bellefontaine Cemetery - St. Louis MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 41.342 W 090° 13.542
15S E 741300 N 4285922
Quick Description: Egyptian Revival mausoleum, for leader in the Theater business in the early 20 century.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 1/12/2022 9:33:41 AM
Waymark Code: WM15JF0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 2

Long Description:

County of structure: St. Louis Independent City
Location of mausoleum: Inside at Birch & Woodbine; 4947 W. Florissant Ave., St. Louis
Built: 1907
Architect: Eames & Young
Architectural Style: Egyptian Revival

"12. Frank R. Tate, theater owner
Architect: Eames & Young
Date Erected: 1907
Granite. Egyptian Revival mausoleum. Columns flanking entrance have palm capitals. Winged disc flanked by serpents above entrance and below primary roof overhang. Sphinxes flank steps leading to paired bronze doors on façade." ~ NRHP Nomination Form


"This Egyptian-style mausoleum was built in 1907 by Frank N. Tate, who at the time controlled most of the theater property in St. Louis. He also owned theaters in Chicago and New York. In 1921, Mr. and Mrs. Tate gave $75,000 to the University of Missouri to provide a memorial hall in the School of Law in memory of their son, Lee Harry Tate, who was killed in an automobile accident that year." ~ Bellefontaine Cemetery


"For fans of Egyptology, the Tate Mausoleum is one of the most interesting at the cemetery. Constructed in 1907, it inters Frank N. Tate, a prominent theater tycoon who ran theaters in St. Louis, Chicago and New York.

"Both railings are adorned with sphinxes, with faces that could possibly be meant to resemble Tate himself. And above the door are carvings of ancient Egyptian sun symbols." ~ Touring the Tombs


"Egyptian Revival - Frank N. Tate, who had this tomb built in 1907, was a big shot in local theater, owning most of the theaters in St. Louis and others in Chicago and New York. That might explain the theatrical excess of his tomb, which features a pair of Egyptian sphinxes on either side of its entrance. (Think of the Fox Theatre, which was built a couple of decades later.) American theater designers rampaged through architectural history to attract audiences. In the wake of Napoleon's ill-fated Egyptian campaign (1798-1803), a mania for all things Egyptian swept the Western world. Probably because of the Egyptian obsession with death, the Egyptian Revival style was particularly popular for cemeteries. Tate's Mausoleum not only features sphinxes, but the gray stone tomb takes the form of an ancient Egyptian temple with a winged serpent above the door, columns with papyrus capitals and other Egyptian motifs, such as palm fronds and lotus buds and flowers." ~ St. Louis Post-Dospatch, by David Bonetti, April 26. 2009

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