Sculptures of Dionicio Rodriguez at Memorial Park Cemetery

Status: Preserved

Address: 5668 Poplar Avenue, Memphis

Built: 1935-1943

Architectural Style: Cemetery; rustic landscape features in folk tradition

Original Function/Purpose: Cemetery

The Sculptures of Dionicio Rodriguez at Memorial Park Cemetery were placed on the National Register on Jan. 31, 1991.

History: The Crystal Shrine Grotto (shown here) is one of several constructions designed by Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriguez for the Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery in Memphis. Executed over the course of about eight years, Rodriguez’s contributions to the cemetery include Annie Laurie’s Wishing Chair and Rose Garden, The Wishing Well, The Fountain of Youth, The Broken Tree Bench, and Abraham’s Oak, but the Crystal Shrine Grotto is the most elaborate of his designs. Rodriguez was commissioned to do the project beginning in 1935 by entrepreneur E. Clovis Hinds who wanted to create a cemetery similar to Forest Lawn in Los Angeles, with no traditional tombstones but with beautiful works of art celebrating nature and Judeo-Christian ideas.

 

City Council District: 5

Super District: 9

County Commission District: 13

DON NEWMAN