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Gate of Heaven Cemetery addition breaks ground

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Bishop Joseph R. Binzer (second from right) blessed the site and participated in the groundbreaking. (Courtesy Photo)
Bishop Joseph R. Binzer (second from right) blessed the site and participated in the groundbreaking. (Courtesy Photo)

By Steve Trosley

When the Catholic Cemetery Conference convenes in Cincinnati in September, its members will get a special tour of the archdiocesan cemeteries and see a newly dedicated addition to the Gate of Heaven administration building.

Douglas Tinsman, events coordinator and customer service manager, said the cemetery broke ground March 14 on the 3,100 square-foot building that will become the new front of the current administration building. Auxiliary Bishop R. Joseph Binzer blessed the new construction project.

“This addition is being built to house 690 glass-front and granite-based niches for 1,200 urns,” Tinsman said. “These glass front niches will add to the broad assortment of burial and cremation options offered at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.”

 Gate of Heaven, in partnership with Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, New Joseph Cemetery and the Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society, will be hosting the convention tour, Tinsman said.

The new building addition was designed by KZF Design of Cincinnati under the direction of architect Michael Kelly.

The addition will have a limestone and granite façade, Tinsman said, with stone from the Holy Land incorporated into the terrazzo tile flooring and all interior lighting indirect.

Debra Crane, director of archdiocesan cemeteries, is working with Paul Pickel of Pickel Studios of Indiana to create statues of Mary, Gate of Heaven, and St. Peter receiving the keys to heaven from Christ. The statues will be carved from linden wood, lightly stained. The statues will be surrounded by greenery, Tinsman said, and flameless memorial candles.

Each of the glass-front niches will have 6mm-thick beveled glass fronts and be internally illuminated – and will come in a variety of sizes. Visitors will be issued key cards so they can visit their loved ones’ remains after hours, when the administration building is closed.

An additional feature will be a cenotaph wall where families can memorialize family members buried in other cemeteries. There will be 160 bronze cenotaph spaces available in a variety of font and color choices.

The building is expected to be complete in late August.

For information about Gate of Heaven Cemetery, visit Gateofheaven.org or call (513) 489-0300.

A rendering of Gate of Heaven's new building shows its interior. (Courtesy Photo)
A rendering of Gate of Heaven’s new building shows its interior. (Courtesy Photo)


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