This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol5", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Having now given consideration to every phase of the crematorium, the next matter for our attention is the provision for the storage of urns. There are at present only two columbaria in this country, but they are not of any magnitude, but the Portland Crematorium at Oregon is planned with a chapel between 60 and 70 feet in length, having at each side four small apartments fitted with receptacles for urns, each columbarium having accommodation for the storage of about 250 urns, and at either side of the chapel latebrę are also provided, making a total of about 500 niches. The columbarium of the Odd Fellows Cemetery Company, at San Francisco, is designed in the form of a Grecian cusped cross, with the arms terminating in porches and connected by means of a pair of circular concentric walls. The rotunda formed by the inner walls is surmounted by a crowned dome. Provision is made for upwards of 1700 niches, varying in capacity from two to twenty urns on the ground floor; the first floor is a duplicate of the ground floor, with the exception of the quadrants being lighted from the top instead of the sides, and contains 1600 niches; and the second floor is similar to the galleries of the ground floor, with the exception of the wings and quadrants being omitted, and contains upwards of 700 niches, the capacities of which vary from one to ten urns, making a total of 4000. The columbarium at Golders Green Crematorium, London, is a tower-like building, 22 feet square, with four storeys and a crypt, having provision for the reception of 1700 urns. At the Liverpool Crematorium a small columbarium is provided in a crypt under the chapel. It is in the form of three corridors, on either side of which are arranged niches for the storage of urns, some of which are arranged to contain one and some as many as three urns.
In designing urn receptacles or columbaria, the latebrę or niches should be arranged to hold from one to five urns in a single compartment. The urns in use are known as the " box " or " vase " shape; the former measuring 16 by 8 inches, and being 8 inches high, while the latter are about 12 inches diameter and 18-inches high. The urn in general use in this country being of the "box" shape, provision should therefore be made, with few exceptions, for this design. In constructing the niches special attention should be-given to the materials used, so as to occupy as little space as possible in the framing and divisions. The niches in the columbarium of Golders Green are constructed of Victoria stone, but the use of terra-cotta lathing, or thin partition blocks, plastered in Keens' cement, and painted or distempered, will allow of more artistic decoration. The fronts of the receptacles are closed with marble and glass tablets, or copper and wrought-iron grills, bearing the name and date of the-deceased whose ashes are stored therein.