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Mapping 15 of America's Most Beautiful Historic Cemeteries

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While today usually regarded with a fear-of-death-induced deference, cemeteries were once popularly used as public greenspaces, particularly in the days before public parks became common in America. Thanks to the work of landscape architects like Alexander Dearborn and Fredrick Law Olmsted, thousands of urban dwellers could escape the confines of the city for a picnic on the verdant hillsides of Mount Auburn Cemetery (above) in Cambridge, Mass. or in the shadow of elaborate mausoleums of Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, Calif. Find 15 of the country's most beautiful public burial grounds and then head over to the Curbed city sites for a more detailed look at historic cemeteries from across the Curbed Universe.

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· Here Now, Historic Cemeteries Across the Curbed Universe [Curbed National]

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1. Mount Auburn Cemetery

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580 Mount Auburn St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 607-1980
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The first of the so-called "rural cemeteries" in America, the 174-acre Mount Auburn was designed in large part by early American horticulturist Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn and architect Jacob Bigelow, who were inspired by Paris' famous Père Lachaise. Dedicated in 1831, the cemetery is home to more than 700 tree varieties and some 10 miles of roads.

2. Forest Hills Cemetery

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95 Forest Hills Ave.
Boston, MA 02310
(617) 524-0128

Also designed by Alexander Dearborn, the 275-acre Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood today serves as a cemetery, arboretum, and sculpture garden, thanks to famous works by sculptors Daniel Chester French and John Wilson.

3. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

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Bedford St
Concord, MA 01742

Of no relation to the Sleepy Hollow of Washington Irving's Headless Horseman, this Transcendentalist-influenced burial ground was dedicated by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was later buried here, along with Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott.

4. Green-Wood Cemetery

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500 25th St
Brooklyn, NY 11232
(718) 210-3080
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Founded in 1838 and inspired by Mount Auburn, Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery sprawls over 478 acres. Over the years it has attracted some of the city's biggest names, from . In 1911, Warren and Wetmore, designers of Grand Central Terminal, added a chapel, based on Christopher Wren's Thomas Tower in Oxford, England.

5. Woodlawn Cemetery

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Webster Avenue
Bronx, NY 10470
(718) 920-0500
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The Bronx's answer to Brooklyn's Green-Wood, Woodlawn Cemetery opened in 1863 in a portion of then-rural Westchester that was later annexed to New York City. Named a National Historic Landmark in 2011, the 400-acre cemetery is home to more than 300,000 graves, some of which are elaborate mausoleums designed by architects like McKim, Mead & White, John Russell Pope, and Carrère and Hastings.

6. Laurel Hill Cemetery

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3822 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19132

Opened as the second major rural cemetery, after Mount Auburn, Laurel Hill was built in 74 acres of terraced hillside above the Schuylkill River. Here, elaborate tombs house some of Philadelphia's richest deceased citizens, but the cemetery also served as a public park before there were such things. In 1848, some 30,000 people entered the gates between the months of April and December.

7. Arlington National Cemetery

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1 Memorial Drive
Arlington, VA 22211
(877) 907-8585
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Established during the Civil War on the grounds of an estate owned by a descendant of Martha Washington, Arlington National Cemetery has since become the most famous burial ground in the United States. Generally limited to distinguished military servicemembers, the cemetery is the final resting place of President John F. Kennedy, whose grave is marked with the "eternal flame."

8. Oakland Cemetery

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248 Oakland Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
(404) 688-2107
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Originally established in 1850 on a six-acre plot, the Oakland Cemetery was expanded during the Civil War to accommodate the great number of Confederate soldiers dying in nearby hospitals. The T.M. Brady sculpture, The Lion of the Confederacy, was erected in 1894 to honor the unknown number of Confederate soldiers.

9. Bonaventure Cemetery

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330 Bonaventure Rd
Thunderbolt, GA 31404
(912) 651-6843

The largest cemetery in the historic Georgia city of Savannah, the Bonaventure Cemetery gained fame in the 1997 film adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Dotted with weeping willows and bisected by a maze of wrought iron fences, the cemetery, in its public form, dates to 1868.

10. Graceland Cemetery

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4001 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60613

As a name, Graceland is most commonly associated with the Memphis mansion of rock pioneer Elvis Presley, but Chicago's high society knows it better as a preferred final resting place. The Graceland Cemetery, opened in 1860, is home to the Getty Crypt, designed by architect Louis Sullivan.

11. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

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501 Basin St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 525-3377

The oldest of New Orleans' many historic cemeteries, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 was established in 1789 and now measures just one city block in the city's French Quarter. In the early years, everyone who was anyone was interred here, from Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau to architect Benjamin Latrobe.

12. Hollywood Forever Cemetery

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6000 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 785-4252

The oldest cemetery in Hollywood, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery sat disused and nearly abandoned for decades before being revitalized in the late 1990s. The final resting place of Hollywood legends like Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks, it directly abuts the Paramount Pictures studios.

13. Mountain View Cemetery

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5000 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611

Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, is sited on a hillside overlooking the city and Bay beyond. Over the years, it attracted many notable Californians, thanks to the Olmsted name, some of whom built elaborate crypts on what is now referred to as Millionaire's Row.

14. Golden Gate National Cemetery

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1300 Sneath Ln
San Bruno, CA 94066
(650) 761-1646

Established in 1937 as Northern California's Arlington, the Golden Gate National Cemetery now includes some 140,000 military graves, including that of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and 15 Medal of Honor winners.

15. Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

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53331 Cabrillo Memorial Dr
San Diego, CA 92106

Situated on a hillside that enjoys breathtaking views of the Pacific, the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery was established the 1880s. The cemetery is home to a landmark obelisk that commemorates those killed in the USS Bennington disaster in 1905.

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1. Mount Auburn Cemetery

580 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The first of the so-called "rural cemeteries" in America, the 174-acre Mount Auburn was designed in large part by early American horticulturist Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn and architect Jacob Bigelow, who were inspired by Paris' famous Père Lachaise. Dedicated in 1831, the cemetery is home to more than 700 tree varieties and some 10 miles of roads.

580 Mount Auburn St
Cambridge, MA 02138

2. Forest Hills Cemetery

95 Forest Hills Ave., Boston, MA 02310

Also designed by Alexander Dearborn, the 275-acre Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood today serves as a cemetery, arboretum, and sculpture garden, thanks to famous works by sculptors Daniel Chester French and John Wilson.

95 Forest Hills Ave.
Boston, MA 02310

3. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Bedford St, Concord, MA 01742

Of no relation to the Sleepy Hollow of Washington Irving's Headless Horseman, this Transcendentalist-influenced burial ground was dedicated by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was later buried here, along with Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott.

Bedford St
Concord, MA 01742

4. Green-Wood Cemetery

500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232

Founded in 1838 and inspired by Mount Auburn, Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery sprawls over 478 acres. Over the years it has attracted some of the city's biggest names, from . In 1911, Warren and Wetmore, designers of Grand Central Terminal, added a chapel, based on Christopher Wren's Thomas Tower in Oxford, England.

500 25th St
Brooklyn, NY 11232

5. Woodlawn Cemetery

Webster Avenue, Bronx, NY 10470

The Bronx's answer to Brooklyn's Green-Wood, Woodlawn Cemetery opened in 1863 in a portion of then-rural Westchester that was later annexed to New York City. Named a National Historic Landmark in 2011, the 400-acre cemetery is home to more than 300,000 graves, some of which are elaborate mausoleums designed by architects like McKim, Mead & White, John Russell Pope, and Carrère and Hastings.

Webster Avenue
Bronx, NY 10470

6. Laurel Hill Cemetery

3822 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132

Opened as the second major rural cemetery, after Mount Auburn, Laurel Hill was built in 74 acres of terraced hillside above the Schuylkill River. Here, elaborate tombs house some of Philadelphia's richest deceased citizens, but the cemetery also served as a public park before there were such things. In 1848, some 30,000 people entered the gates between the months of April and December.

3822 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19132

7. Arlington National Cemetery

1 Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA 22211

Established during the Civil War on the grounds of an estate owned by a descendant of Martha Washington, Arlington National Cemetery has since become the most famous burial ground in the United States. Generally limited to distinguished military servicemembers, the cemetery is the final resting place of President John F. Kennedy, whose grave is marked with the "eternal flame."

1 Memorial Drive
Arlington, VA 22211

8. Oakland Cemetery

248 Oakland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

Originally established in 1850 on a six-acre plot, the Oakland Cemetery was expanded during the Civil War to accommodate the great number of Confederate soldiers dying in nearby hospitals. The T.M. Brady sculpture, The Lion of the Confederacy, was erected in 1894 to honor the unknown number of Confederate soldiers.

248 Oakland Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312

9. Bonaventure Cemetery

330 Bonaventure Rd, Thunderbolt, GA 31404

The largest cemetery in the historic Georgia city of Savannah, the Bonaventure Cemetery gained fame in the 1997 film adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Dotted with weeping willows and bisected by a maze of wrought iron fences, the cemetery, in its public form, dates to 1868.

330 Bonaventure Rd
Thunderbolt, GA 31404

10. Graceland Cemetery

4001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613

As a name, Graceland is most commonly associated with the Memphis mansion of rock pioneer Elvis Presley, but Chicago's high society knows it better as a preferred final resting place. The Graceland Cemetery, opened in 1860, is home to the Getty Crypt, designed by architect Louis Sullivan.

4001 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60613

11. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

501 Basin St, New Orleans, LA 70112

The oldest of New Orleans' many historic cemeteries, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 was established in 1789 and now measures just one city block in the city's French Quarter. In the early years, everyone who was anyone was interred here, from Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau to architect Benjamin Latrobe.

501 Basin St
New Orleans, LA 70112

12. Hollywood Forever Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

The oldest cemetery in Hollywood, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery sat disused and nearly abandoned for decades before being revitalized in the late 1990s. The final resting place of Hollywood legends like Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks, it directly abuts the Paramount Pictures studios.

6000 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038

13. Mountain View Cemetery

5000 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, is sited on a hillside overlooking the city and Bay beyond. Over the years, it attracted many notable Californians, thanks to the Olmsted name, some of whom built elaborate crypts on what is now referred to as Millionaire's Row.

5000 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611

14. Golden Gate National Cemetery

1300 Sneath Ln, San Bruno, CA 94066

Established in 1937 as Northern California's Arlington, the Golden Gate National Cemetery now includes some 140,000 military graves, including that of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and 15 Medal of Honor winners.

1300 Sneath Ln
San Bruno, CA 94066

15. Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

53331 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

Situated on a hillside that enjoys breathtaking views of the Pacific, the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery was established the 1880s. The cemetery is home to a landmark obelisk that commemorates those killed in the USS Bennington disaster in 1905.

53331 Cabrillo Memorial Dr
San Diego, CA 92106