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Glendale Cemetery to Restore Century-Old Mausoleum

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DES MOINES, Iowa – City officials have approved a project to restore the 103-year-old Abbey Mausoleum at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.

The Des Moines City Council approved an architectural company plan to completely restore the Abbey for about $300,000 at the end of March, but the plan is currently unfunded. That’s because the council cites other expenses – including the purchase of body cameras for the Des Moines Police Department, and a $1 million cost for the Grand Avenue bridge project in 2016.

So Glendale Cemetery is asking donors to help fund the restoration of the Abbey. The outside of the building, which is a scaled-down model of the Pantheon in Rome, needs restoration work, as well as the 12-foot stone ceiling of the portico, which has wide cracks. Cemetery workers say the walls are also decaying, and there’s extensive water damage to the marble crypts.

Cemetery officials say few citizens know much about the Abbey, as it’s closed off to the public, but they hope word will spread and the necessary support will come in. To donate to the project, mail donations to: Glendale Cemetery, 4909 University Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50311.