Before There Was Central Park, There Was Green-Wood Cemetery
While few New Yorker’s today take Central Park for granted, there was a time in the city’s history that open spaces where nature could be enjoyed unimpeded by noise and pollution were scarce.
The great public parks which we enjoy today did not come into existence until the late 1850’s with the creation of Central Park followed by Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in 1867. From the 1840s until the 1860s, the rural cemetery was the place to go if a New Yorker or visitor wanted to experience rolling hills, plains, lakes, fabulous artworks and stroll peacefully while contemplating life.
The oldest of these rural cemeteries in New York City is Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery which was founded in 1838.
Green-Wood itself put out its own tour book soon after its creation to give visitors what they called “the tour.”
What could you expect when you got there besides mausoleums and tombstones?
Nature in abundance.
To give you an idea of how popular it was to visit Green-Wood, this section of Appleton’s New York City and Vicinity Guide by W. Williams, published by D. Appleton and Co. (1849) extols some of Green-wood’s virtues: Continue reading