Saturday, February 20, 2016

Architectural Cemetery Treasure In Danger of Collapse

The Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, Inc. (FOMMCI) in Philadelphia currently has a “Go Fund Me” page up on the Internet. The goal is to raise $10,500 to stabilize the fa├žade of the historic 1855 gatehouse facing Kingsessing Avenue at Cemetery Avenue

The page was posted on February 15, 2016, and by Saturday, February 20, $11,630 was raised! At that point, 157 people had donated. Here is the link to the page, which is headed by my February 2016 photograph of the gatehouse (the one in the snow, shown above):

Mount Moriah Cemetery gatehouse, Philadelphia, c. 1855.

I spread the call on February 15, all over my own social media sites and those of all my cemetery-lover friends. People on the FOMMCI Facebookpage shared the invitation multiple times. The result is an unqualified success!

Rather than reiterate the purpose of the fundraising program, I will quote the FOMMCI Go Fund Me page. I have included more of my gatehouse photos throughout. Please consider donating to this worthy cause – we greatly appreciate your help!

Architectural Treasure In Danger of Collapse

Historic brownstone Gatehouse designed by Stephen Decatur Button, the architectural designer of the Gettysburg Gatehouse is in imminent danger of collapse. This iconic structure built in 1855 was the grand entryway to the 200 acre Mount Moriah Cemetery located in Pennsylvania's Philadelphia and Delaware Counties. The cemetery was privately owned but it was abandoned in 2011. The Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, a nonprofit grassroots organization of determined volunteers immediately stepped in to honor those who are buried in the cemetery's hallowed ground, including over 5,000 veterans.

Inside of gatehouse, showing collapsed internal building (Sept. 2014)

Our goal is to stabilize the facade of the brownstone so that a columbarium for cremains can be built behind it in the future. It will cost $35,000 to stabilize this magnificent structure and we now have $24,500 from a grant and donations. We need $10,500 to keep this treasure from becoming a pile of rubble. We need your help!

Author leading tour in front of gatehouse, 2013.

If our fundraising goal is exceeded, donations will be used for additional Mount Moriah Cemetery capital improvements. Your donation is tax deductible. To learn more about the Mount Moriah Cemetery and the work of the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, visit our website.