Cecil E. Bryan, the architect who built our magnificent Mountain View Mausoleum, became famous for designing over 80 mausoleums in seventeen states. Born in Illinois, he apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright for a year, then with master bridge designer Ralph Modjeski.
In 1912 Bryan joined the International Mausoleum Company and became an eloquent proselytizer for the adoption of the “Community Mausoleum,” a building type introduced in the early 20th century as a modern, sanitary, way to replace the cemetery, which he claimed wasted valuable land and were a maintenance nightmare. In his own words:
“The Community Mausoleum is built to last forever. Constructed of the solidest material, put together with the most punctilious workmanship, it is designed to be as permanent as any work of man can be. Our children’s children shall see the respect we have for our Beloved. It shall inspire them to greater, still more beautiful memorials, as we have seen inspired by the great memorials of antiquity.”
Bryan pronounced Altadena’s Mountain View Mausoleum his finest achievement. At some point he moved to Altadena with his family, and at his death he was laid to rest in a marble sarcophagus in a prominent location he reserved for himself in the building he had designed.