Few structures rival the imposing size of the memorial John D. Rockefeller built for himself and his family.
The towering granite Rockefeller obelisk stands as a tribute to a man who, even in death, remains larger than life. Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller rose from bookkeeper to robber baron before dying in 1937 at age 97. A trustee of the cemetery, Rockefeller chose a truly grand spot for his family plot, looking out over the lower hills of Lake View. Chiseled from granite quarries in Barre, Vermont, the entire four-piece monument weighs 135 tons and rises to about 66 feet — so large that it needed a special railway car for transportation. An equally magnific task began when it arrived in Cleveland in 1899 when Rockefeller hired Joseph Carabelli's monument company to move and assemble the obelisk. When the top spire got stranded beside the train tracks, Carabelli's workers assembled a house-moving rig. It would be eight months before all four pieces finally made it to the hilltop and the memorial came together. A man who gained his vast fortune through persistence, Rockefeller surely appreciated the effort. To this day visitors leave dimes at Rockefeller's gravesite, hoping for just a sliver of his industriousness. "I would imagine he'd have a little lecture with that," says Lake View's Mary Krohmer. "Save some money, spend it and keep a ledger, which is what he did."
Find it ⇨Section 10, northeast of the Garfield Memorial