The mausoleum scenes were filmed at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York.
In the movie Max looks upwards and he reads the inscription above the gates:
THE NYS REFORMATORY FOR BOYS
NYS DEPT OF CORRECTION
The movie cuts to Noodles reading the inscription above the door of the
Underneath the inscription plate is the name GATES
Photograph of the actual mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery
The door was not a Leone invention
Photo of John W. Gates
Born: May 18 1855
Died: Aug. 9 1911
Also known as "Bet-a-Million" Gates, he was a pioneer promoter of barbed wire who became a Gilded Age industrialist. Gates was born in Winfield, Illinois, but his career began with a trip to San Antonio, Texas in 1876 as a salesman for the Washburn-Moen barbed wire company, and a dramatic demonstration with cattle penned into Military Plaza. He later started the Southern Wire Company of St. Louis, Missouri. With the help of Chicago attorney Elbert H. Gary he created a monopoly in the US wire industry in 1898 with American Steel and Wire Company, which was sold in 1901 to J.P. Morgan in a deal (also negotiated by Gary) to become part of the new U.S. Steel conglomerate.
Gates was a founder of the The Texas Company which became the Texaco oil company. He became influential in the development of the city of Port Arthur, Texas when he took over the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad in December 1899 after he forced it into bankruptcy along with its previous owner and Port Arthur founder Arthur Edward Stilwell.
In a 1900 horse race in England, Gates won $600,000 on a $70,000 bet, which rumors escalated to over $1 million and conferred on him the nickname "Bet-A-Million".
A compulsive gambler, he once participated in a marathon poker game on a train journey from Chicago to New York. After a week of nearly constant play (meals were taken at the poker table), the match ended with about half a million dollars changing hands.
Gates died in Paris, France, following an unsuccessful operation to remove a throat tumor. His funeral was held in the ballroom of the Plaza Hotel in New York. The Gates Memorial Library in Port Arthur was built in 1918 by his widow, Delora R. Baker of St. Charles, Illinois, who he had married in 1874. They had one son, Charles Gilbert Gates.
Burial: Woodlawn Cemetery Webster Avenue & E. 233rd Street Bronx, NY 10470
The door sculpture is on Woodlawn's list of notable artwork.
The sculpture was created by Robert
Ingersoll Aitken. He's a prominent and important artist. In addition to the
Gates mausoleum sculpture, he's known for his sculpture work on the West
Pediment of the U.S. Supreme Court building....and many more.
Audrey Munson was the model used by Aitken for the door:
Woodlawn Cemetery is very large and the Gates mausoleum can be difficult to find.
There are planters which mark the plot
Across the roadway there is an Acropolis style mausoleum and a smaller
mausoleum marked with planters
Bird's eye views
Showing the proximity to the entrance on Jerome Ave
maps of the area
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