Landmark Columbarium in San Francisco Breaks Ground on Expansion

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Provides Rare Opportunity for San Franciscans to be Laid to Rest in City

Rendering of the Hall of Olympians, an expansion to the San Francisco Columbarium, to open fall of 2011

For 35 years, we’ve been dedicated to meeting the specific and personalized needs of those in our community, and so we are proud to bring this opportunity to San Franciscans to be memorialized in this local landmark.

The Neptune Society of Northern California broke ground today at the iconic San Francisco Columbarium for a planned expansion that will add three new Halls and an exterior garden of niches. With these new niches, the Columbarium will be one of the only sites in the city of San Francisco with available spaces for inurnment, providing a rare opportunity for San Franciscans to be laid to rest within the city borders instead of in Colma. Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, Mike Miller, President of Neptune Society of Northern California and Jim Lazarus, Senior Vice President of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Board President of The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society broke the ground at 10:30 a.m. today to begin the construction on phase one which will be completed spring of 2012.

“For 35 years, we’ve been dedicated to meeting the specific and personalized needs of those in our community, and so we are proud to bring this opportunity to San Franciscans to be memorialized in this local landmark”, said Mike Miller, President, Neptune Society of Northern California. “We are honored to have stewardship of the Columbarium as a structure so valued by the people of the city, and honored by the ones who, having made San Francisco their home, have made the Columbarium their home. It is a place where life stories are beautifully reflected and celebrated in a deeply personal way. By being able to uniquely telling their life story they tell the story of our city as well.”

The first phase of the expansion, the Hall of the Olympians, is projected to be completed in the spring of 2012. The Hall of Titans and the Hall of Heroes will be phase two and three of the expansion respectively. Overall, the planned expansion of the three buildings will add 5,300 niches to the existing 8,500 niches at the Columbarium. The cost of the expansion is estimated at several million dollars.

More information about the expansion and about acquiring a niche can be obtained by contacting the Neptune Society of Northern California at the Columbarium at (415) 752-7891, or by visiting their website at http://www.Neptune-Society.com.

About the Columbarium
The Neptune Society of Northern California’s historic Columbarium is located at One Loraine Court in the Richmond district of San Francisco, near Stanyan and Anza Streets, north of Golden Gate Park. It is an architecturally renowned repository for human ashes built in 1898. It was acquired by The Neptune Society of Northern California in 1980, which began restoration that same year. It has approximately 8,500 niches. It is the only non-denominational burial place within San Francisco's city limits, with space available, that is open to the public. In 1996, the building was added to the register of San Francisco Landmarks. Many of the niches in the Columbarium contain pictures and personal memorabilia that reflect the individual’s personality and provide insight into the lives of those inurned. Among the notable interments and memorials there are from some of San Francisco's most prominent founding families and celebrities, including Chet Helms (1942–2005) American folk figure, called the father of the ‘Summer of Love’; Harry August Jansen (1883-1955) magician, held title of world’s premier magician; and the cenotaph of Harvey Milk (1930–1978) San Francisco City Supervisor, popularly referred to as ‘Mayor of Castro Street’, and first openly gay elected official of a large U.S. city.

About the Neptune Society of Northern California
Since 1973, the Neptune Society of Northern California has assisted tens of thousands of Northern Californians with their cremation and funeral needs. Additionally, more than 100,000 of its members have recorded their memorialization wishes in advance. The Neptune Society of Northern California has 12 locations throughout Northern California, and owns and operates its own cremation service facilities. Cremations are conducted exclusively by their own trained professionals in their own facilities to ensure dignity and identification throughout the cremation process. It owns the Naiad, a yacht where sea scattering is conducted near the Golden Gate Bridge. The Neptune Society of Northern California is owned and operated by Stewart Enterprises. http://www.Neptune-Society.com

About Stewart Enterprises
Founded in 1910, Stewart Enterprises, Inc. is the second largest provider of products and services in the death care industry in the United States, currently owning and operating 218 funeral homes and 141 cemeteries. Through its subsidiaries, it provides a complete range of funeral and cremation merchandise and services, along with cemetery property, merchandise and services, both at the time of need and on a preneed basis. http://www.stei.com

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Rosa Mangiardi
Continuum Crew
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