Completed in 2016, the “Comfort House” was the first new building constructed at Old City Cemetery since the 2006 Bicentennial Chapel and Columbarium. The small two-story structure provides a parlor, three restrooms, a small multipurpose room, a terrace, benches, and water fountains for one of the most active areas of the Cemetery. It is located beside the Chapel, on the hillside above the Lotus Pond.
The construction of Comfort House was the signature project of the Southern Memorial Association (SMA) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the organization’s founding in 1866.
Since the completion of the Chapel and Columbarium in 2006, the need has never been greater for the Comfort House. Before 2016 the only “comfort” facilities on the property were in the Cemetery Center, which were not convenient to the many weddings, concerts, theatrical performances, and other gatherings held in or near the Chapel.
The Comfort House enhances the beauty and interest of the Cemetery, improves the overall visitor experience, and supports the long-term sustainability of Lynchburg’s most visited historic site. This special anniversary gift begins a new chapter in the life of Lynchburg’s unique “gravegarden.”
The Comfort House will dramatically improve the facilities and services OCC can offer to the more than 34,000 people who visit the site each year. The parlor may be used by brides and their wedding parties to prepare for weddings or by family members attending a funeral service to gather in privacy. The porches and terrace will be natural gathering places for school tours, special events, and visitors simply needing to pause and rest in their exploration of the Cemetery’s historic grounds. Currently the only “comfort” facilities on the property are in the Cemetery Center, which are not convenient to activities near the Chapel.
View construction photos of the Comfort House here: