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MACON, GA — Hart’s Mortuary and Crematory attracted a sizable audience for their Grand Opening reception August 17, in celebration of their second funeral home, Hart’s Mortuary at the Cupola, in Macon. Hart’s has been locally owned since its founding in 1899.

The new facility had previously been the site of the Homebuilders’ Association of Central Georgia and was a community source for conferences, weddings, parties and like events. The exterior of the building was left intact and the interior remodeled into the new surroundings.

Mike Odom, Hart’s manager, called on Duncan Stuart Todd, Ltd. to design and equip a state-of-the-art preparation room using the company’s Premier Source design approach that includes interior architecture planning, ventilating systems, cabinetry, embalming equipment and safety equipment. Mr. Odom comments, “The single station room, while small, meets our needs well.”

As a professional engineer, Mr. Odom especially appreciates the prep room safety and specialty equipment features provided for staff. He calls specific attention to the DST designed volume pressure system that maintains constant water pressure thereby resulting in strong suction during aspiration. He notes that with this equipment in place, the process is not subject to the pressure vagaries of a municipal water supply.

Another major source of satisfaction is the isolated Pre- pAir ventilating system which conforms to OSHA man- dated standards. Being a system separate from the funeral home public rooms, there are no concerns that fumes will be disseminated throughout the rest of the facility. The areas outside the preparation room are odor free.

Safety measures in the embalming room include a ceiling shower, drench hose and eyewash. Although code compliance has been met, it is to be hoped that no emergency will arise to put them into action. The drench hose is easy to get to and doesn’t spew water into the central work area. The eyewash is completely accessible from two directions. Summing up the Hart’s Cupola project, Mr. Odom says that they are very pleased with what he terms “the efficient, effective and common sense” layout.

An interesting side light at the Grand Opening was a reproduction of the coffin used to bury Abraham Lincoln. The coffin was made available by Batesville Casket Com- pany who owns four full size reproductions that they lend out for special occasions. The term “coffin” refers to the six-sided box used many years ago, whereas today’s models are termed “casket” and have four sides.

The history of Hart’s dates back to 1899 when Jesse B. Hart founded the company. In time, the business was owned by J. Freeman Hart and his son, J. Freeman Hart, Jr. In 1982, the company was purchased by Macon resident J. Milton Heard, III, continuing the family owned and operated tradition. Since 1931, Hart’s has been at its current location, 765 Cherry Street, doing business as Hart’s on Cherry Street.

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