This History and Photography of Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood_Cemetery Photography, New York Photography

(This guide is part of The New York Photographer’s Travel Book, which is available as a free digital download.)

Founded in Brooklyn in 1838, before the creation of Central Park or Prospect Park, there was Green-Wood cemetery, a massive 478-acre swath of land on the western coast of the borough. Green-Wood was one of the original rural cemeteries in America, and it became a famous place to be buried. The popularity of the park helped to inspire the creation of Central Park and Prospect Park. 560,000 people rest in the cemetery today.

“It is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon the Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the Park, and to sleep with his fathers in Green-Wood” – Paul Goldberger.

 

The cemetery includes hills, valleys, ponds, paths, and ornate structures of all types. It has one of the largest collections of 19th and 20th-century statues and mausoleums. Due to its grandeur and the fact that it predated both Central Park and Prospect Park, the cemetery received an international reputation, and once attracted 500,000 visitors a year, the second greatest tourist attraction in the U.S. behind Niagara Falls. People came from all over for carriage rides, family outings, and to see sculptures. 

It has a famous roster of inhabitants, including Boss Tweed, Leonard Bernstein, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Civil War generals, artists, musicians, politicians, and sports legends.

Once the site of an important part of the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776, Battle Hill is the highest point in Brooklyn, rising approximately 200 feet above sea level. The battle was the largest of the entire war and was the first major fight of the American Revolutionary war to take place after the United States declared its independence. The British prevailed and it was the start of a campaign that led to them taking control of New York.Because of the height, you can see straight through to the Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, The World Trade Center, and more. A telephoto lens is suggested.

Because of the height of the hill, you can see straight through to the Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, The World Trade Center, and more. A telephoto lens is suggested.

 

(This guide is part of The New York Photographer’s Travel Book, which is available as a free digital download.)