Story Chapel Porte-Cochere Removed

December 7, 2011

The noted architect Willard T. Sears’ original 1896-1898 design of Story Chapel included an elaborate entrance “…through a large door, protected by a porte-cochere, which extends well over the driveway leading to the building from the main entrance to the cemetery.” (Cambridge Chronicle, 1898) In addition, a stone replica of the Mount Auburn seal was located over the porte-cochere’s arch.  Due to structural weakness and its inability to accommodate large hearses and most automobiles, the porte-cochere was removed on July 22, 1971.  Before the porte-cochere was removed, an attempt was made to save the stone seal contained in its arch, but the fragile stone was broken beyond repair in the process.

In 2011, the Cemetery began raising funds to restore Story Chapel’s exterior to its original 1896 design.  The currently proposed design plan will include the construction of a modified, yet historically accurate version of the Chapel’s old porte-cochere.

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