Last week I posted an open query about the decrepit, sealed-up state of the mausoleum of poor old Eugene Fairchild in historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Soon after, I received some illuminating information from Green-Wood—not necessarily about Fairchild, but about how things are done at the burial place in general. Read and learn:
There are a couple of reasons mausoleums get sealed up, like the Fairchild’s. First, if it has been filled to capacity, the family may opt to have Green-Wood to seal the mausoleum. Or, when Green-Wood is unable to find surviving heirs to make the necessary repairs to a mausoleum, the entrance is sealed with masonry or wood. And last, others may have had stone doors which broke away from their hinges under their massive weight or metal doors that just rusted away.
In keeping with our rustic, rural cemetery layout, we actually do let some areas of the cemetery “go native.” Our superintendent of grounds knows the whole place like the back of his hand and has his crew on the grounds every day. So no area is just untended. Art is a big fan of naturalistic settings and some areas of Green-Wood are purposely allowed to grow over.
All that being said, we do have a preservation department that works to recreate iron gates and doors and to replace the wood closures. We’re also working to restore entire mausoleums like the marble one heading into Clinton Dell. All in time, as we have labor and resources to work through the list. With 478 acres, it’s a tall (if not never-ending) order.