For immediate release
November 20, 2014
One-Time-Only Bus Tour Reveals Hidden Gems of Southern California Cemetery
WHAT: Esotouric presents its 2014 edition of Richard Schave's birthday bus tour, this year's unique edition featuring "Public Mausolea of Los Angeles and Orange Counties"
WHEN: Saturday, November 29, 10am-5pm 
COST: $62/person, cost includes Indian buffet lunch.
WHERE: Departs from The Daily Dose, 1820 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021. INFO: or call 213-373-1947
LOS ANGELES- Each year for his birthday, social historian Richard Schave organizes a very special all-day bus tour and mobile birthday party through his tour company Esotouric, opening the guest list to anyone with a passion for unexplored Southern California. 
On the birthday bus, guests explore hidden gems of local history and architecture, visiting select locations that will never again be part of an Esotouric bus adventure. In 2012, the birthday bus toured Riverside's train museum and the lost town of Spadra's secret cemetery and magnificent Phillips Mansion. In 2013, birthday tourists explored the offbeat museums of the Antelope Valley.  
And for the 2014 tour, Richard's dear friend, architectural historian Nathan Marsak, leads a guided tour of the stunning and poorly understood Public Mausolea of Los Angeles & Orange Counties, each one a masterpiece of American cemetery architecture. So climb aboard for a 7-hour excursion exploring some of the greatest buildings in the Southland that you've never seen—unless you go to a lot of funerals.
Lunch (Indian buffet with vegetarian options) is included in the ticket price.  
Tour host Nathan Marsak, in addition to being the author of "Los Angeles Neon," is renowned as America's wittiest historian of mortuary architecture. At each of the mausolea visited, Nathan will share the histories and structural secrets of these magnificent structures, revealing their compelling narratives through vintage photographs and insights into the architect, engineer and civic groups that funded each project.
During the on-the-bus portions of the tour, Nathan will argue a slightly more esoteric point: showing how the development of both these public mausolea and of Modernism in Los Angeles were concurrent and connected. They shared many of the same goals and tapped into the same revolutionary material: concrete, with its plasticity adapted to vernacular styles based on indigenous forms and innovative local building methods, and which also served the need for a durable and hygienic space. By tour's end, Nathan will reveal these seemingly traditional structures as standing firmly within the West Coast Modernist canon.
Public Mausolea to be visited:
Forest Lawn (formerly Sunnyside Memorial Park) (Long Beach, 1922, Cecil Bryant, architect). This Spanish Renaissance gem is a showcase of ceramic tile design by the local CALCO Pottery headed by Rufus Keeler, later of Malibu Pottery. It contains unusually fine examples of pictorial stained glass, and its dome with its suspended Foucault's Pendulum is a breathtaking architectural space.
Community Mausoleum (Anaheim, 1914, Charles E. Shattuck, architect). Constructed by the Pacific Mausoleum Company of Los Angeles. The interior tile and white Columbia marble is by Musto Sons-Keenan, and the cast iron & bronze grillwork by Pacific Ornamental. The proportions of the building are perfect Classic Greek Doric: narrowing shafts, triglyphs over the architrave, extending pediment. The ventilation, sanitation, and drainage are all patented designs of Charles E. Shattuck. Also on view at Anaheim Cemetery will be several beautiful small private mausolea that are not usually open to the public.
Fairhaven (Santa Ana, 1916, Charles E. Shattuck, architect). An Egyptian-Beaux Arts masterpiece conceived of by the visionary cemetery developer Oliver Linden Halsell, it is constructed of granite with thirty-two different kinds of marble and stone used on the interior floors and walls.
Calvary Mausoleum (East Los Angeles, 1936, Ross Montgomery, architect). The facade is Art Deco-Moorish-Hollywood, complete with processional columns capped with triumphant angels. The interior is inspired by Tuscan church interiors of the Quattrocento, rich with marble and stenciled faux wood. The mausoleum was financed in large part by Estelle Doheny, and is the final resting place for both she and her oilman husband Edward. For many decades, the bishops of Los Angeles reposed here, too, before being moved to the new downtown Cathedral in 2002.
And if you're looking for offbeat L.A. history but can't wait to ride the Esotouric bus, there's plenty of good stuff online. Esotouric's podcast You Can't Eat The Sunshine launched in January 2013 and can be found at and on iTunes. And in addition to this and other historic Los Angeles bus tours, Esotouric's team created the 1947project "time travel blog" series of alternate history websites, including In SRO Land ("lost lore of the historic core" at, On Bunker Hill ( and the original 1947project ("a crime a day" from 1947, 1927 and 1907 at and
Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule (free events starred)
Saturday, November 22 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour
Saturday, November 29 - Special Event: Richard's Birthday Bus Tour of Public Mausolea of Los Angeles & Orange Counties  
Saturday, December 6 - Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour
*Sunday, December 7 – "The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words" talk, book signing and walking tour (info at
Saturday, December 13 - East Side Babylon crime bus tour 
Saturday, January 10 - The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour
Saturday, January 17 - Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles
Sunday, January 18  - Where There's Smoke forensic science seminar (info at
*Thursday, January 22 - Pasadena Central Library talk on "The Kept Girl" (info at
Saturday, January 24 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Saturday, January 24 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare
Sunday, February 1 - South L.A. Road Trip: Hot Rods, Adobes, Googie & Early Modernism 
Saturday, February 7 - Boyle Heights & The San Gabriel Valley: The Hidden Histories of L.A.'s Melting Pot 
Saturday February 14 - Route 66 Road Trip: Roadside Architecture, Citrus, Drive-Ins & Cemeteries 
Saturday, February 21 - The Lowdown on Downtown 
Saturday, February 28 - Wild Wild Westside crime bus tour
Esotouric's Kim Cooper and Richard Schave are proud members of LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association.
Tour hosts Nathan Marsak and Richard Schave are available for interviews. Journalists and photographers on assignment can often be accommodated on Esotouric bus tours. Contact Kim at toursATesotouricDOTcom, 213-373-1947.