Green-Wood Cemetery


Green-Wood Cemetery was founded in 1838 as a rural cemetery in Kings County, New York, now in Brooklyn. Green-Wood Cemetery was granted National Historic Landmark status in 2006 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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Located its namesake Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn, it lies several blocks southwest of Prospect Park, between Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Sunset Park. Paul Goldberger in The New York Times, wrote that it was said "it is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon the Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the Park, and to sleep with his fathers in Green-Wood". Inspired by Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where a cemetery in a naturalistic park-like landscape in the English manner was first established, Green-Wood was able to take advantage of the varied topography provided by glacial moraines. Battle Hill, the highest point in Brooklyn, is on cemetery grounds, rising approximately 200 feet above sea level.
The Green-Wood Cemetery was visioned by Henry Evelyn Pierrepoint, a Brooklyn social leader. Green-Wood Cemetery was a popular tourist attraction in the 1850s and was the place most famous New Yorkers who died during the second half of the nineteenth century were buried. It is still an operating cemetery with approximately 600,000 graves spread out over 478 acres (1.9 km²). The Green-Wood Cemetery rolling hills and dales, several ponds and an Green-Wood Cemetery on-site chapel provide an environment that still draws visitors. There are several famous monuments located there, including a statue of DeWitt Clinton and a Civil War Memorial. During the Civil War, Green-Wood Cemetery created the "Soldiers' Lot" for free veterans' burials.
The Green-Wood Cemetery gates were designed by Richard Upjohn in Gothic Revival style. The main entrance to the Green-Wood Cemetery was built in 1861 of Belleville brownstone. The sculptured groups depicting biblical scenes over the gateways are the work of John M. Moffitt. A Designated Landmarks of New York plaque was erected on it in 1958 by the New York Community Trust.
Several wooden shelters were also built, including one in a Gothic Revival style, one resembling an Italian villa, and another resembling a Swiss chalet. A descendent colony of monk parakeets that escaped their containers on a flight from South America to Idlewild International Airport (today JFK) in the 1960s today nests in the center spire of the gate.
The Green-Wood Cemetery was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
In 1999, The Green-Wood Historic Fund, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution, was created to continue preservation, beautification, educational programs and community outreach as the current "working cemetery" evolves into a Brooklyn cultural institution.
Chapel

The Green-Wood Cemetery chapel was completed in 1911. Green-Wood Cemetery chapel was designed by the architectural firm of Warren and Wetmore, who also designed Grand Central Station, the Commodore Hotel, the Yale Club and many other buildings. The Green-Wood Cemetery chape; architecture of the chapel is a reduced version of Christopher Wren's Thomas Tower at Christ Church College in Oxford. The chapel was restored in 2001.