William Andrews Clark, Jr. Mausoleum
(PHOTOS: Allan R. Ellenberger)
By Allan R. Ellenberger
Visitors to Hollywood Forever Cemetery invariably ask who is interred in the huge mausoleum in the center of the lake. The answer is William Andrews Clark, Jr., the second son of millionaire copper-king and Montana Senator, William A. Clark, Sr. (1839-1925).
Clark, a philanthropist, was founder of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1919) and a collector of rare books. At his death, he left his library of rare books and manuscripts to the regents of UCLA. Today, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library specializes in English literature and history from 1641 to 1800, materials related to Oscar Wilde and his associates, and fine printing.
The Clark family mausoleum is built on an island approached by a large bridge fashioned of 40-foot granite slabs. The artificial lake, island and bridge, which covers 50,000 square feet, were constructed in 1909 at a cost of $10,000. At the time it was said to be modeled after “one of the large cemeteries of the East.”
In January 1920, Clark bought the island and within a few weeks, contractors began work on the foundation of the mausoleum which is made of reinforced concrete. Clark contracted the Georgia Marble Company (Tate, Georgia) for $125,000 worth of white Georgia crystaline marble, where it was quarried but was cut here in Los Angeles.
The mausoleum, which was designed by architect Robert D. Farquhar, is in the Ionic style. The pediment is all in one piece. The bronze door was cast from a model design and made by an eastern sculptor.
The interior of the mausoleum is finished with reddish marble and the sarcophagi, of which there are seven, are in like material. The inside dome is finished with a design worked out in mosaic of pigeon blue and old gold. A similar mosaic is laid on the floor. The four interior stained glass windows were made by Lamm & Co. of New York. On the walls are Biblical scenes done in mosaic which 18 Italian artists labored on for 14 months.
The mausoleum was completed in 1921 at a cost of more than $500,000, which includes the island site, the bridge and the lake which had palely beautiful lotus blossoms, hyacinths and lilies from far-away lands.
When the mausoleum was completed, Clark transferred the body of his first wife, Mabel Foster Clark (1880-1903) to it from a vault in Butte, Montana, and also the body of his second wife, Alice McManus Clark (1884-1918) which was then resting in the family mausoleum of his uncle, J. Ross Clark, at Hollywood Cemetery.
There are seven sarcophagi in the mausoleum, three on each side, and one at the head where Clark is interred. Besides his two wives, also interred there is his only son, William A. Clark III (1902-1932), who died in an airplane crash. They all preceded him in death.
William Andrews Clark, Jr. died of heart disease at his summer home in Salmon Lake, Montana on June 14, 1934.
Clark’s father, Senator William Andrews Clark, Sr., is interred in his own grand mausoleum (above) at the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.