Address: 5668 Poplar Avenue, Memphis
Architectural Style: Cemetery; rustic landscape features in folk tradition
Original Function/Purpose: Cemetery
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.
Map of the cemetery used in its National Register nomination. Numbers are keyed to photos of the cemetery art included in the nomination.
City Council District: 5
Super District: 9
County Commission District: 13