Pair a diorama with a dash of biography and San Francisco history and you have me hooked. The SF Columbarium is one of the only cemeteries within San Francisco city limits. This is the outcome of very SF forces, real estate speculation and political shenanigans. In the early part of the 20th century, most cemeteries were uprooted and moved to Colma to make room for more development.
The Columbarium, which opened in 1898, is the last vestige of odd fellows cemetery. The reason I find myself wandering in for a few minutes whenever I am nearby in the Inner Richmond is the chance to see a different personal slice of SF. The classical dome is filled with glass-fronted niches, each with a mini-story. There are early SF pioneers buried here with elaborate urns and classical sculpture of 49er grit. World War veterans, as well as veterans of the war in the 80s and 90s against HIV. The little windows into people’s lives often include tokens of their passions and quirks. Every visit yields a delightful new find and puts me in the mood to go out and get the most out of the day.