Another crematory battle. . . this one is different

Just a couple of days ago Funeral Director Daily brought you an article about a group or residents who live in a neighborhood where a crematory is being built.  As many times happens these days, those neighbors are opposed to the establishment of a crematory in their neighborhood.


That friction seems to happen a lot these days. . . .However, in Cincinnati, Ohio, we uncovered this situation which appears to be almost exactly the opposite.


This article from WCPO Channel 9 -ABC in Cincinnati makes note that the historic Hillside Chapel and Crematory may be up for sale.  According to the article, Don Catchen, a Northern Kentucky funeral home owner who bought Hillside in 2010 commented, “There are discussions, but nothing is final”.


It appears a possible buyer is a group who may use the site for a student housing development.  The “big snag”, however, seems to be the facility also operates as an indoor columbarium for more than 10,000 urns at this time.


Linda Ziegler, listed as Treasurer of the CUF Neighborhood in the linked article makes this statement, “There are two issues.  The important one is all theses souls resting in there and what’s going to happen to them?”   The other issue is that of preserving a property that was apparently constructed beginning in 1887.


According to the article, Catchen bought the property out of bankruptcy in 2010.  At that time, language that has made its way into the property’s deed was a requirement of the 2009 bankruptcy plan of reorganization.  Again, according to the article, that language included these phrases:

“No bids shall be accepted unless and until, as a part of the purchase, the purchaser agrees to maintain all of the urns, which have interred remains on site. The purchaser further agrees to maintain these urns in the manner by which they have been maintained since the formation of the company.”


To his credit, building owner Catchen states, that the property won’t be sold without a plan to preserve more than 10,000 urns on site.


This link will allow you to see some pictures of the facility, including the vast columbarium network inside of it.


This link brings you to a history of Cincinnati’s Hillside Chapel Crematory


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