These historic rural cemeteries are a treasure-trove of art, architecture, and sculpture.
The Mid-Atlantic states are known for their rich history and culture and represent a diverse region of America, from Chesapeake Bay to Long Island. Some of the country’s earliest events, and its most prominent figures, lived and died here, making its cemeteries a treasure trove of art, architecture, and sculpture.
Green-Wood Cemetery in New York City
Green-Wood Cemetery, at 500 25th Street in Brooklyn, New York City, was founded in 1838 as a rural cemetery, providing a garden-like resting place in the heart of the city for over 600,000 former residents. Its Gothic revival gates, designed by Richard M. Upjohn, were designated a New York City Landmark in 1966, and the cemetery itself was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The Battle of Brooklyn was partially fought on (what became) its 478 acres.
Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland
Green Mount Cemetery, at 1501 Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland, was dedicated in 1839 and contains the remains of approximately 65,000 former residents. While not as large as other rural cemeteries, Green Mount’s Gothic Revival structures and funerary art and sculpture are a sight to behold. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia
Designed by William H. Pratt and dedicated in 1849, Hollywood Cemetery at 412 S. Cherry Street in Richmond, Virginia, contains a veritable who’s who of Virginia history, including two U.S. presidents, two Supreme Court justices, six governors, and 22 Confederate generals. Its 130 undulating acres are the final resting place for approximately 65,000 people, including up to 18,000 Confederate veterans who fought in the American Civil War. The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.
Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia
Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the second oldest rural cemetery in the nation. It was established in 1836 on 74 acres of land overlooking the Schuylkill River. Its lovely neoclassical gatehouse was designed in a Roman Doric style by architect John Notman (1810-1865). Laurel Hill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998.
Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery in Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery, 701 Delaware Avenue in Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, is a small rural cemetery established in 1843. It encompasses a rectangular area of 25 acres, relatively flat on its western side with a steep eastern descent toward Brandywine Creek. It is the final resting place for over 21,000 former residents, including Richard Bassett, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, governors, congressmen, and even a Cherokee chief.