Tower of Memories – Wheat Ridge, Colorado - Atlas Obscura
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Tower of Memories

A seven-story 1920s mausoleum outside Denver houses thousands of remains. 

Just west of Denver, the remains of thousands of bodies are entombed in a lonely white tower that overlooks the city. Rising 158 feet tall above Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery, the building is nearly a century old and is home to about 6,000 crypts and 5,000 niches for cremated remains.

Breaking ground in 1929, this towering tomb, dubbed the Tower of Memories, donned a hefty $1 million price tag. The original builder actually went bankrupt a year before the project was finished, but construction could not be halted as the building already housed the remains of many bodies.

Instead, new architects were hired and the originally intended Gothic architecture was stripped from the plans, leaving behind the modernist granite structure that watches over Denver today. Construction again was halted during World War II, but finally finished in the 1950s. Today, the monumental building is a historic landmark of Denver. Inside it also features a chapel with eerie red stained-glass windows, adding to the macabre atmosphere of this strange place.

Know Before You Go

Usually open daily until 4 p.m. The only accessible floors to the public are 1-4. But sometimes if you're lucky, the elevator will take you up to floors 4-6. It's worth it for the views on the 6th-floor balconies.

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