The Columbarium: a San Francisco Treat |
At the end of a cul-de-sac in San Franciscos Richmond District is an almost hidden columbarium (a vault with niches for urns containing ashes of the dead). Built in 1897 for the Odd Fellows, it originally was surrounded by a 167 acre cemetery and crematorium. Changes in San Francisco law forced the removal of the cemetery and crematorium and in 1934, the Columbarium was abandoned and fell into disrepair but allowed to remain.
In 1979 it was obtained by the Neptune Society of Northern California and thankfully has been considerably restored. The original Columbarium has 8,500 niches. The ground floor contains approximately 2,400 niches, the first floor 2,500, and the second and third floors approximately 1,800 each, with a total of more than 8,500. Note, the original Columbarium has a few vacancies, perhaps twenty, but reservations are required.
| ||An available niche in the original Columbarium. This is one of the few high-end niches available there. Notice the scallop shell symbol on the ceiling of the niche.
In 2011, construction began on three new niche facilities with the Hall of Olympians opening in 2012, and two other niche facilities, Hall of Titans, and the Hall of Heroes to follow. The three new three Halls will contain 5,300 niches, adding to the existing 8,500 niches within the Columbarium.
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Photographs by Patty Sokolecki-Smoot & Frederick Smoot. This website is not affiliated with the Neptune Society.
Neptune Society Columbarium
One Loraine Court • San Francisco, CA 94118
Columbarium Grounds Map
Open to the Public.
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day
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