Jones, Malcolm, Newsweek
Byline: Malcolm Jones
A second life for cemeteries.
A Gravediggers' Ball in Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cemetery. Pumpkin carving in the Sleepy Hollow graveyard. Open-air movies in a Los Angeles cemetery. Is this any way to honor the dead? If you're one of the dozens of executives who oversee the nation's most storied bone orchards, the answer is a resounding yes.
In August 1999, Richard J. Moylan, president of Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, had an epiphany. In Baltimore on business, he took the afternoon off to visit that city's Green Mount Cemetery. "It was a Saturday, a bright, sunny day," he recalls. But despite the excellent weather and the well-tended grounds, "there was no one around." Then and there he resolved, "This must never happen in Brooklyn." He kept his promise.
Until the mid-'90s, Green-Wood often turned visitors away if they had no kin buried there. Now thousands pour through the cemetery's gates each year to take tours, check out the graves of long-gone celebrities (Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed), and even hear live music: Green-Wood recently scheduled a concert complete with grand piano at the grave site of 19th-century composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk.
Green-Wood is not unique. In the last decade, people across the country have begun flocking to these old necropolises, lured by everything from photography workshops to movies--Hollywood Forever, a Los Angeles cemetery, hosts a popular film series in which visitors are encouraged to picnic …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Tombstone Tourism. Contributors: Jones, Malcolm - Author. Magazine title: Newsweek. Volume: 160. Issue: 17 Publication date: October 22, 2012. Page number: 11. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.