By 1950, the concept of the community mausoleum was forty years old. But the American public itself had seen several generations, a Great Depression, and two World Wars go by. In a way, the original allure of the community mausoleum had become part of American culture itself – the advertising had worked. A culture that forty years previous had held funerals in the home and generally eschewed embalming now understood the funeral home to be part of “tradition” and embalming to be essential to sanitation.
But the world had also changed. The gargantuan technological leaps made to fight World War II had come home in the form of stronger concrete, bigger buildings, and an age of unparalleled American prosperity. Where before the community mausoleum was marketed as, in part, affordable, the appeal of affordability was no longer as necessary. The public wanted a new modernity to separate from the modernity understood by their grandparents. And they wanted it to be maintenance free, clean, and without the cobwebs of yesteryear. The new, midcentury modern community mausoleums would deliver.
As discussed in Part One, New Orleans cemeteries were overwhelmingly uninvolved with the early twentieth century community mausoleum. With the notable exception of Hope Mausoleum, none were built in the New Orleans area. The midcentury mausoleum would be much more at home within the Crescent City, with more than a dozen constructed. The influx of community mausoleums was timely in that it coincided with shifts in cemetery management as a whole.