Photos: An inside look at the Fresh Pond Crematory

Photos: An inside look at the Fresh Pond Crematory
Photo by Michael Shain

The idea of burning the deceased rather than burying them is catching on.

For some, it is a matter of expense. Cremation is much less expensive than full, traditional funerals complete with headstones and cemetery plots.

The changing demographics of Queens has also given cremation a boost. Burial is not part of Hindu or Buddhist traditions. And as those populations grow in the borough, the Fresh Pond Crematory in Middle Village — the first one in America and by far the busiest in Queens — has seen a big bump in business.

The crematorium has loomed over the neighborhood since the 1880s. But few have ever been inside the place where JP Morgan and Lou Gehrig made their last stops before the cemetery.

Here’s an inside look at the stunning, quiet interiors at Fresh Pond that have hardly changed since the Gilded Age.