Winter Mausoleum – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

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Winter Mausoleum

Allegheny Cemetery

An imposing pair of sphinxes stand guard outside this Egyptian Revival tomb. 

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The Winter Mausoleum in Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Cemetery is an interesting resting place, particularly memorable for the twin sphinxes that guard the tomb. This is the grave of Emil Winter, an industrialist and banker who made his fortune in the Pittsburgh steel industry at the turn of the 20th century.

Winter had the mausoleum built in 1930. Its design is almost identical to that of F.W. Woolworth’s mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Both tombs were the work of John Russell Pope, who later went on to design the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C.

Egyptian Revival architecture was popular throughout the 19th century, but the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 sparked even more interest in the aesthetics of Ancient Egypt. Winter’s mausoleum is one of many tombs in the style that were commissioned in the early 20th century. Elements in the mausoleum’s design such as the ankh symbol, vulture wings, cobras, and sun are, were inspired by ancient Egyptian architecture. Interestingly, the female sphinxes that sit outside the tomb are derived from Greek architecture—in Egyptian mythology, the sphinx is most commonly depicted as a male.

Know Before You Go

The cemetery is a huge beautiful park with lots of roaming deer and geese.

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