|Mount Moriah Cemetery gatehouse, Philadelphia, August, 2016|
One of Philadelphia’s historic gems is off the beaten path. It is miles from the Liberty Bell historic district. However, visitors who appreciate American history would do well to make the trek to Mount Moriah Cemetery in southwest Philadelphia. After all, Betsy Ross is buried here.
|Photo by Ken Smith, FOMMCI|
ref.), it is the largest cemetery in the state of Pennsylvania. In 2011, it was no doubt the largest abandoned cemetery in the nation.
|2012 photo of Mount Moriah Cemetery gatehouse, by Ed Snyder|
In 2016, the Friends, in conjunction with the recently-formed Mount Moriah Cemetery Preservation Corporation “...secured a $22,000 grant from the Mayor’s Fund to be used toward the rescue of the gatehouse.” The corporation found a contractor who could do the work for $32,500 and the Friends group led a fundraising effort to make up the shortfall.
|Rear of gatehouse, looking toward Kingsessing Avenue|
Work began on the stabilization of the gatehouse in the summer of 2016. The photos you see here with most of the final bracing in place, were made in August, 2016.
While the gatehouse may never be restored to architect Stephen Decatur Button’s original design, the original façade will be preserved. In future, this can perhaps be repurposed as a columbarium, a structure of vaults with recesses for urns containing cremated remains.
For up-to-the-minute (literally!) updates on the many ongoing restoration efforts, please see The Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, Inc. Facebook Group page.
Resurrecting Mount Moriah Cemetery's Gatehouse, PLANPHILLY, August 10, 2016