Granite, one of the hardest and most durable natural stones, provides an ideal building material for columbarium projects.
With little to no maintenance, granite withstands the elements and makes a lasting tribute for generations to come. For the new columbarium at Calvary Cemetery, Polished Carnelian® niche fronts with Mesabi Black® trim were the colors of choice. Each niche front is predrilled for a bronze plaque, a Coldspring provided option for personalizing the niche space. Loved ones can add items such as names, dates and emblems to the plaque. The columbarium design features five sections: a center unit with 156 niches, and four outer sections placed diagonally to each corner of the center unit. Each outer unit features 120 niches. Three granite benches in Carnelian encircle the columbarium’s perimeter and house additional cremation niches. Beautiful landscape lighting provides a dramatic nighttime effect. The design will allow for future expansion outside the existing sections, should the need or desire arise.
Atop the columbarium’s center unit stands a beautiful statue of a crucifix, an addition with the design of the columbarium. But another statue, which had adorned Calvary Cemetery for decades, stood in the area where the future columbarium would be built. “When we initiated the columbarium project, we weren’t exactly sure how we would handle the statue, but we knew we wanted to keep it in the cemetery,” said Quentin Brunsvold, Holy Redeemer administrator. “The final consensus was to leave the statue in its place and incorporate it into the columbarium’s design.” The columbarium plaza is centered on the statue. New masonry around the statue’s base and a change of brick color from a light tan to a darker shade complementing the granite helped tie the statue into the design. Initially, the cemetery board thought it would construct the columbarium in stages, adding the outer units as needed.
Ultimately, the board decided to construct the columbarium in full. A campaign allowing people to prepurchase niches at a discounted rate prior to the construction helped fund the project’s initial stages. The project was completed in July 2017. “Unbeknownst to us, when the project was completed, enthusiasm really began to grow in the community,” Furhmann said. “People saw how beautiful it looks, and they really liked it. We’re happy we completed the project all at once instead of in stages.” The columbarium project has been a success by all accounts. “Sales has exceeded our preconstruction estimates,” Furhmann noted. “We were hoping we could sell seven to nine per year. This year (2018), we’ve already sold 30.”