Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vote for Woodlawn Cemetery!

Over the years I’ve visited Woodlawn Cemetery in New York’s Bronx borough a few times, and it is a magnificent place. If you’re a cemetery photographer, it is a must-see. It’s one of the first cemeteries I found myself accidentally locked in, and oddly, the first cemetery I later intentionally allowed myself to be locked in, just so I could photograph the magnificent statuary! (Read more about that at the link below.)

For me the cemetery brought about other firsts – the first grandly opulent cemetery I’d ever seen where the statuary, landscaping, and mausoleums were laid out (pun intended) to breathtaking effect. It was all so precise yet natural − the first classical ‘garden’ cemetery I’d seen that was in such perfect condition. Woodlawn was also the site of my first paranormal cemetery experience (and you can read about that here), brought on by my desire to photograph this angel statue. 

The gargoyle detail you see above is from the cemetery's Belmont mausoleum (near the Jerome Avenue gate) - arguably one of the most fascinating mausoleums on the planet. It is a full-scale replica of the Chapel of St. Hubert in France, designed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the “Gothic Flamboyant” style in the early 1500s. The structure is the size of a small church and was the reason for my accidental lock-in all those years ago.

I’m telling you all this for two reasons: 1) you should visit; and 2) Woodlawn is competing with forty other New York City sites for a grant award to help with funding and restoration projects – and they can use your vote!

The cemetery is participating in the Partners In Preservation program, an initiative to give away three million dollars in New York City. Sponsored by  American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Partners in Preservation is a community-based program which provides preservation grants for local historic places. If you’ve ever been to Woodlawn and experienced its splendor, you’ll want to vote for them! So please take a moment to do so now: Vote!

Woodlawn Cemetery website
Read: Locked in and Climbing Out
Read: Voices in the Cemetery