We have completed a full restoration of the circa 1891 Clarke and Loomis-designed wake house! The work was done in two phases thanks to two Kentucky Colonels Good Works Program grants. The first phase included tuckpointing and repair to the interior and exterior of the stone and brick structure. The second phase included the restoration of the entry gate to the building as well as fabrication of missing features above the gate, which were previously removed by thieves. The fabrication of the missing features was based on the original blueprint of the building and pictorial evidence. We are proud to share the newly restored wake house with the community. We also thank the Kentucky Colonels for helping make this dream possible!
The Charles Clarke and Arthur Loomis-designed wake house is one of the most significant historical and architectural features at Eastern Cemetery. It exemplifies the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style that Clarke and Loomis made popular in Louisville. The wake house itself held bodies prior to their burial, which was the custom before the prevalence of funeral homes and embalming. The wake house is an iconic part of Eastern Cemetery used as a landmark for giving directions for loved ones finding graves as well as a meeting point for events. The restoration of the wake house is vital to the preservation of Eastern Cemetery itself, which contributes to the wellbeing of the families of those laid to rest who need to experience beauty and dignity. Continued maintenance and preservation creates a safe environment for visitors to thrive.