St. Louis’ Bellefontaine Cemetery is a great place to explore our country’s history. In 1891, Ellis Wainwright, a young St. Louis millionaire brewer, commissioned Louis Sullivan to design the tomb for his beautiful young wife. Sullivan had just completed the Wainwright Building in St. Louis, one of the masterpieces of architecture and generally considered to be the first skyscraper in the world.
In the mausoleum, Sullivan combined two ancient forms: a half circle with a cube. The only ornament is a border of stone richly incised with tulip and leaf motifs. The double doors are bronze grills, framed by delicate stone carvings in a snowflake pattern. This unique tomb is considered the Taj Mahal of St. Louis and in 1970 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.