Hillside Memorial Park Garden of Solomon, Phase II
Posted in OTL Newsletter -
Hillside Memorial Park, a cemetery in Los Angeles, California, is recognized for its landscaped gardens and quiet courtyards that offer visitors a beautiful setting for remembering and honoring loved ones, meditating, or paying their respects to those who have passed. The park enables Temple Israel of Hollywood to serve Jewish and interfaith families in the local community.
In 2008, OTL was involved in Phase I of a series of tranquil ponds and rockwork for the cemetery’s Garden of Solomon, a splendorous area within the park named for King Solomon, a monarch of ancient Israel. In 2022, our firm completed Phase II of the project, expanding on the original concept to enhance this private oasis with additional stunning water features and rockwork.
Working with project architect and landscape architect BrightView Design Group, OTL designed and built a magnificent new waterfall with natural and artificial rockwork that blends flawlessly with the Garden’s initial phase.
The Temple requested that the second phase appear to be a seamless extension of Phase I. OTL was able to accomplish this by utilizing the same techniques, materials, and artisans that were used to construct the first phase a decade and a half earlier.
Several retaining walls were designed and built with bridge-like recesses such that the water features appear to pass through and underneath the walls and exit on the other side. This method enables the water to look as if it is continuously flowing through the structure, when in reality we created two completely separate water systems. As the park is the burial spot of numerous Hollywood stars, one of the cascades even flows by the final resting spot of Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame).
OTL encountered several challenges while building this project. Because of the site’s uniquely sensitive nature, the construction team had to be extremely careful throughout the construction phase of the project. Space is always at a premium in cemetery developments, so providing tranquil, soothing sounds and aesthetically pleasing water features in a realistic manner given the space available was quite challenging.
Also, none of the underground utilities associated with the project were allowed to conflict with the crypts. To connect pumps and related equipment to the water features, the team utilized very narrow, well-coordinated utility corridors.
In addition, OTL conserved space by cleverly encasing nearly 150 burial “columbariums” (structures used for the storage of funerary urns) within the structures of the project’s artificial rockwork along the cascade and pond edges. The team also oriented an underground equipment vault to extend out under the adjacent service road with additional structural supports, preserving space for future columbariums to be added.
Keeping costs within budget proved to be another challenge. By utilizing extra capacity from our Phase I pumping system to provide water via a gravity feed to the Phase II system, we were able to lower costs and eliminate some undesirable pipe trenches.
Phase II of the Garden of Solomon delivers a peaceful backdrop for families and friends to reflect on deceased loved ones amid the beauty of the park’s green haven. By extending the Garden’s elegant ponds and rockwork, OTL has once again contributed to an environment that will provide comfort and respite to the park’s visitors many decades into the future.