Rehabilitation of the Silsbee Chapel

The 1879 mortuary chapel has been an icon in Oakwood Cemetery for well over 100 years. As we celebrate its history, we must also look to its future and the many challenges that must be faced.

About The Silsbee Chapel

Designed by eminent architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee and built by contractor William Dickison the Oakwood Mortuary Chapel provided storage facilities necessary in Central New York winters. Mayor Elias Leavenworth was personally involved in the design and construction of the building and sought out Silsbee to be the architect. Built of Onondaga limestone in the gothic and Romanesque style it is one of a few surviving examples of Silsbee’s religious architecture.


Vintage photo of Oakwood Cemetery's Silsbee Chapel
Rehabilitation of Oakwood Cemetery's Silsbee Chapel

How It Works

Crawford and Stearns, an architectural firm specializing in historic preservation, has been hired to conduct an assessment of Silsbee Chapel for the purpose of restoring the building. Currently, this Smithsonian Landmark is unsafe and in a state of horrible disrepair. This is the first step needed to enable HOCPA to apply for grants to assure its rehabilitation.

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