NEW YORK MARBLE CEMETERY TOUR

Liza Bear - lizajbear@yahoo.com

The Cemetery is usually closed, but here's a chance to take a look.


Liza Bear - lizajbear@yahoo.com

 
The Gates

Enter from 2nd Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets through the 1908 wrought iron gate.
It  marks a walkway that is one hundred feet long leading to the 1854 inner gates and the interior of the block.

 

          

 Looking back toward Second Avenue.  Both pairs of gates were restored in 2001.  Photo by Mitch Waxman, 2013.

 

The Walls

As you pass through the inner gate, the South Wall is on the left.  The walls of the cemetery are made from Tuckahoe marble and stone.  This relatively soft material and the mortar are rapidly disintegrating from time, acid rain, and air pollution.

Looking eastward toward the entrance.  Photo by Allison Meier, 2013.


Wine tasting party. Photo by Eleanor Magid

 


A Family Reunion in the Shade.

The Cemetery's landscaper, Gresham Lang, has worked wonders.

Visitors from Atlas Obscura learn about the Cemetery's history.  Photo by Mitch Waxman, 2013.

 

The Tablets


Photo by Mitch Waxman, 2013.

Above are two columns of three family tablets each in unusually fine condition.  The left-hand tablets are for families of ship owners.  The right-hand ones are for merchants.

The positions of the tablets act as a guide in locating the associated underground vaults.  The cemetery has no headstones or monuments.  The tablets cannot be restored or replaced until the walls are sound.

 

Entering a Vault

Pairs of vaults share a common entry shaft.  

After digging by hand to expose the fieldstone cap, it must be lifted off to gain access.  On the right, a workman is opening one of the slate doors to a vault.



Some vault doors have locks.  This is the key to Vault 113, originally purchased by Charles Mowatt.
(Photo courtesy of Ruth Ward.)


See the floor plan and cross section for more details of the vaults.