Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Green-Wood Cemetery is a Winter Wonderland!

The foot of snow we had in Brooklyn last week was still evident on the ground this weekend, even though the sky was a cloudless bright blue.  Feeling a little bit of cabin fever, my husband and I decided to take a drive to Green-Wood Cemetery located at 500 25th Street, Brooklyn, New York, to walk along the paths in its 478 spectacular acres.

(all photos will enlarge when clicked on)

The Green-Wood Cemetery website gives a synopsis of it's history:

"Founded in 1838 as one of America’s first rural cemeteries, the Green-Wood Cemetery soon developed an international reputation for its magnificent beauty and became the fashionable place to be buried. By 1860, Green-Wood was attracting 500,000 visitors a year, rivaling Niagara Falls as the country’s greatest tourist attraction. Crowds flocked to Green-Wood to enjoy family outings, carriage rides and sculpture viewing in the finest of first generation American landscapes. Green-Wood’s popularity helped inspire the creation of public parks, including New York City’s Central and Prospect Parks."

The cemetery even offers a year round historic trolley tour every Wednesday and select weekends.

"A magnet for history buffs and bird watchers, Green-Wood is a Revolutionary War historic site (the Battle of Long Island was fought in 1776 across what is now its grounds), a designated site on the Civil War Discovery Trail, and a registered member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System.

On September 27, 2006, Green-Wood was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior, which recognized its national significance in art, architecture, landscaping and history.

560,000 people are buried here, including Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Civil War generals, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers and inventors." 

The grounds are lovely in all four seasons, and I thought it would be nice to take my camera along on my walk and record some of the beautiful winter landscape.

I have blogged about Green-Wood cemetery many times before and those post can be read at this link.

The wild monk parrots that live in Green-Wood were very visible in the trees!  They even have their own blog where the history of how they came to Brooklyn can be read at this link
I though the two in the upper right of this mosaic made a romantic heart shape for us for St. Valentine's day!

The cemetery is really a birder's paradise and is proud to be a registered member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System since 1995.  Large flocks of Canadian geese were looking for food the day I was there.
Approximately 3,300 Civil War veterans have been identified at Green-Wood, both Union and Confederate soldiers, through the Green-Wood Historic Fund’s Civil War Project.  My husband and I are proud to be among the hundreds of volunteers who have worked the last six years on this ongoing  project.

As you can see in the mosaic above, as part of the project, many of the Civil War Veterans have had new gravestones ordered from the US Veterans Administration, and they have been installed next to, or in front of, their original gravestones which had become unreadable through time. Quite a few veterans were buried with no gravestone at all, and it has been particularly gratifying to finally identify their grave sites with stone that tell of their service to our country.

The Victorian era memorials and statuary throughout the cemetery are magnificent, and I am particularly fond of taking photographs of the many angels that are in the cemetery.  Someday I will do a blog post with photos of the other varied types of statuary in the cemetery as there are many other interesting memorials to be seen.

Another portion of the cemetery I never tire of  is it's beautiful views!  Green-Wood Cemetery is full of hills and valleys and Battle Hill which is located there is one of the highest points in Brooklyn.  This is a view of the Manhattan skyline that can be seen as I descended Battle Hill.

A close up of the same skyline view framed through a tree.  I guess you now know where I took the photograph that is presently my blog header!

I hope you enjoyed walking along with me on this beautiful Winter day in Green-Wood Cemetery.  It is one of my favorite places to visit!

I am adding this post to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer blog's "Outdoor Wednesday" event.  Please visit Susan today to see her outdoor post and links to all the other blogs participating today.

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From the Old InkWell said...

How interesting! Love your photos and the treelined road is awesome!

Kathleen said...

It looks very pretty blanketed in snow, Pat. We just got a dusting this time, on top of the frozen slush..I've had it!

Ebie said...

It is very interesting post and history. The architecture, the landscaping and those angels are just gorgeous! Thank you for the tour. The view towards the Brooklyn skyline is amazing, you have a good eye!

P.S. It snowed in Death Valley last Wednesday when we were there.

Kat said...

I love this post Pat. I find historic cemeteries fascinating. I remember you telling me that you were working with a volunteer group to identify Civil War graves, what an exciting and rewarding project. Your photos are breathtaking, particularly that skyline view through the trees - stunning! Kathy

pam said...

WOW...once again. I love old cemeteries...that looks like an amazing place....so cool. Thank you for sharing

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I would never have thought that Greenwood Cemetery would be as interesting in winter as in warmer months, but you sure showed us!

Cindy said...

Wow, another person loves visiting cemetaries; some people think I am so weird when I have said that! I love the history, the stories, the "style" of the tomb stones for a particular period. I will plan on going here next time I visit NY.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Gorgeous Pat... I've never been there--but it would be a place I'd love to visit. My hubby is a Civil War buff--so he would love it.

Neat picture of the skyline of Manhattan from there. Loved the angel collage also.

Thanks for a very interesting post.

steviewren said...

The cemetery is beautiful. I was surprised to read that it's attraction to tourists had been second only to Niagara Falls. That is amazing. My favorite photo is the one with the mausoleums and statues in the snow. It reminds me of a miniature kingdom or something.

Willow said...

What an interesting place to visit. I am a bit amused by the notion that Green-Wood was a 'popular' place to be buried...

Unknown said...

Wonderful photographs and interesting history as always. I remember this place, thanks for adding so many interesting facts.

dianasfaria.com said...

This looks like a great place to hang out for an afternoon. I especially love the angels.

Light and Voices said...

Nice job on the collage.
Joyce M

Regina said...

Wow gorgeous winter and the skyline are majestic!
Stunning captures Pat.
Thank you for sharing.

Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

Wow and WOW! I don't know that I've seen a lovelier cemetery and I love its history.

You took some gorgeous shots, Pat!

I really enjoyed this post. Where are we going next?

Edie Marie's Attic said...

That's one place I'd really like to see the next time I visit NYC. The snow makes it looks so soft & peaceful. I love all the pics of the angel monuments! Amazing.

Hugs from snowy Ohio, Sherry

Old Kitty said...


There is so much, so much to learn here! I'm still reading about your beautiful wild parakeets in "Brooklynparrots.com" site and fretting over them! We also have wild parakeets over here (confined mainly to west london) but they face organised and official persecution from the powers that be. Luckily, like brooklynparrots.com, there are local people who are rallying support for these much maligned and misunderstood beautiful, beautiful (if a little noisy!) birds. I love your "Valentine's" parrotts pic btw!

I am also just reading up on the history of Green-Wood cemetary. I loved that weeping angel statue. I hope funds are found to restore her arm! It's such a haunting figure!

It's so wonderful that it's a cemetary for everyone! From Civil War casualties to celebrities to Indian princesses (Do-Hum-Me, only 18!). And great job in honouring the Civil War dead, and with it a very important part of American history. Sometimes the smaller more personal histories tend to get lost in the bigger historical picture so it's really touching to see the story of the Prentiss brothers - both fighting for different sides now buried side by side. Very poignant.

And there's so much more!!!!! This is a really lovely piece and I'm learning so much! I'm so glad that this part of New York is being kept as an open space where wildlife and people and history can co-exist harmoniously, thanks to volunteers like yourselves.

Oh I passed the Outdoor Wednesday link from Southern Daydreamer to Kim at Musings from a Small Life. She loves taking outdoor photographs so I thought it'll be great for her to join in too!

Thanks again and take care

bARE-eYED sUN said...

Pat, as usual, an informative, visually stunning {and fun, fun, fun} post.

thank you. :-)

we remember that back in the day, when our daughters were children, we have outings to Greenwood, and picnic among the dead. greenwood is indeed a wonderland of beauty and curious history.

its been decades since we've set foot there.

as you've done in the past, you've inspired us to revisit. we CAN and SHOULD be tourists in our home. there's so much to enjoy.

once again, thank you.


Lorrie said...

This is a fascinating post Pat. I've never visited Green-Wood Cemetery, but I wish that I could. I'm sure it's beautiful in any season, but it looks magical in the snow. It's interesting to think of a cemetery as being the inspiration for city parks. The angel statues are also very interesting. I'd love to be there in warm weather so I could take a leisurely tour and see them all close up.

Thanks for another great armchair trip! You could be a tour guide--well, actually you already are a tour guide in Blogland!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

This was such a wonderful tour! Thanks for taking us along, the pic are fabulous and I love history, so interesting too! Cindy

diane b said...

Thanks for the tour and history lesson. That's why I like blogging always learning about the world and other people's interests.It is a beautiful place with magic views.

Joyce said...

I have been there but had no idea who was buried there. Interesting.
Next time I am in NY for any length of time we must meet up for lunch in the city.

Gracie said...

It's surely charming in winter! And, awww... how much I love the statues! Thanks for sharing your photos.

Beth Leintz said...

What an interesting place- the picture of the tombs (?) on the hillside surrounded by snow and the angel statues- just breathtaking. Once again, thanks for sharing.

Tara said...


What an interesting tour of history! Even when I was in Holy Cross--there is such gorgeous artwork in cemeteries, don't you think?

Sara said...

Again, you have shown me a part of NYC that I never knew existed. What an awesome cemetery! How rewarding it must be to be working on a project that helps identify those who served our country.

Your life sounds so very interesting!

I think one of the things I admire about you is that you "live" your life - and you get out there and see your city as if you were a visitor...everything is new and exciting!

Unknown said...

Beautiful post. I will definitely have to check this out on our next trip to NY.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

This is such a special place, Pat and your photos really bring out the history and architecture, not to mention the views. Do you live close enough to walk there? I would love to have a place like this to walk to.
♥, Susan

Love Bears All Things said...

Wow, what an entrance. I love it. I wondered about the Biblical scenes depicted. I couldn't see them well enough, even with enlarging.

And the Parrots: Beautiful!

All of that history in one place. Thank you for sharing this beautiful place with us.
Mama Bear

Anonymous said...

I did not know this, I will make this a sure-to-see next time I'm up that way.Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed this tour, your pictures are great!

Judy said...

I most certainly enjoyed my winter walk! Awesome scenery.

And it's good to hear that you are back to walking on that foot of yours.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Loved seeing these photos and thanks for the information about the cemetery. Very pretty in the snow.

Ann said...

I've never been to your blog before but I certainly will now. I've never been there but it looks like a magnificent place. You should publish a book with those angels. They are so stately in the mosaic. I'm sure going to follow up to see what else you post.
tin and sparkle

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you for your comments everyone!

Old Kitty, I never knew there were also parrots in London! I know that many feel they are intrusive to the natural environment, but I admire their survival skills. I am glad you enjoyed that link about them and all the other cemetery info. It really is a fascinating place.

So many authors have been inspired to write about the people buried in Green-Wood ..both biographies and historical fiction.

Susan you asked it I lived close to Green-Wood Cemetery..no, I live a few miles away, which in Brooklyn traffic, and red lights on every corner, means it takes me about 40 minutes to drive there. I wish I lived closer, as it is a good work out to walk the 4 1/2 miles of the cemetery paths, and up so many steep hills. The park I walk in most of the time is very flat.

♥ Kathy said...

That's a LOT of snow! Happy Outdoor Wednesday

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Pat, What a wonderful visit I had with you! First of all, I love your photography and the way you captured the beauty of Green-Wood Cemetary. And the tour was as if I were there. No wonder you like visiting. Thank you for this wintery fieldtrip!

www.MaisonStGermain.com said...

Thank you for the tour. The history, grounds, monuments, statutes and birds are beautiful! Thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog. I have joined your followers so I will be back to say hello:)
Blog: Capers of the vintage vixens

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

Fabulous photos. I would love to see this cemetary. I had never heard of it before today. Looks like a beautiful place.

Victoria said...

Wow..these are such fabulous photos..so many I love..stellar beauty! You are a wonderful talent!

Vee said...

Your photography is exquisite...the colors, the way your framed your photos...the subjects...

Love the mosiacs...always a great way to get a lot of photos in.

It certainly looks as if it was a beautiful day for taking a walk.

Jennyff said...

There really is something wonderful about an old cemetry and that one looks fascinating. Your photographs are brilliant, the snow really add to them.

Melissa Miller said...

Oh my goodness Pat your photos are all just simply stunning! You amaze me with your photography skills my friend. ~Beautiful.

Blessings to you and yours.
~Melissa :)

Carole Burant said...

It's no wonder it's your favourite place to go to, how absolutely beautiful! I love visiting cemeteries, the older the better, and can spend a whole day just walking around. To me a cemetery represents so much history and I wonder how all the people buried there lived their lives. Your pictures are breathtaking, especially the ones of the angel statues. If I ever make it up your way, you must bring me there:-) xoxo

nanny said...

The view of the city is breathtaking.....lovely cemetery.

Kate on Clinton said...

Beautiful! I really have to get over there soon. Wonderful photos.

La Petite Gallery said...

I am proud to know you and your husband, That is so wonderful to volunteer there, It is a magnificent place, and BOSS TWEED!
some big timers in there. Your snap shots are fabulous..Thank you so much..I enjoyed it.. yvonne

La Petite Gallery said...

I am proud to know you and your husband, That is so wonderful to volunteer there, It is a magnificent place, and BOSS TWEED!
some big timers in there. Your snap shots are fabulous..Thank you so much..I enjoyed it.. yvonne

Maryrose said...

What a great post and beautiful pictures. The day looked just perfect and what a lovely place for lovely photos. I loved the pic of the city between the trees but really I loved them all.
Thanks for visiting and I hope to come back to visit soon.

Unknown said...

Pat these photos are beautiful! I love seeing the beauty of New York through your blog.

This morning they were filming the pretty snow in Central Park!

And we though our Mississippi snow was pretty! LOL

Jenny said...

This is a gorgeous post, Miss Pat! I think my favorite is the green bus...not sure why. I loved all the pictures!

Kathy said...

What an interesting and beautiful place Green Wood is Pat and your photos are simply stunning, I love ALL of them, the angel mosaic is divine. hugs from England, Kathy.

Elisa Day said...

Wonderful photos. I love to visit old cementeries.

Tracy said...

That is just an amazing place...and wonderful to see in winter frosted with snow! You take us to the best place, Pat, even places to rest! ;o) Happy Day, my friend ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Pat..it was so great to hear from you!! This entry is such a great read and your photos are spectacular! Then again, is there ever an entry on you blog that isn't?

That said..looking forward to the season..but Randy Winn and Nick Johnson to make up for the loss of Johnny Damon? Trading Melky for Javier Vazquez, who already proved he couldn't handle the microscopic pressure that comes with being a Yankee? Yes, Damon was an idiot..but so was Cashman - you do what's best for the team in lieu of being catty. Should have left the 7 mill per year on the table instead of lowballing him because he didn't initially accept it. Oh well, we'll see how it goes. I just hate that he tore apart the chemistry and magic of that team.

OMG, forgive me..I wrote a novel!! Hope you and your lovely family are enjoying life to the fullest!! *hugs*

La Petite Gallery said...

On your comment about snowmobiling I wish I could go with you .That would be such a far out thing.. Your post is the most interesting. Gosh! that skyline of Manhattan is Fab.. yvonne

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I DO see the heart with the birds! (And wow! they are so interesting! I had no idea.)

I love going on walks with youl

Anonymous said...

You have outdone yourself on this post. It must be a magnificent place to explore with or without a camera. There is one similar near here and is called Woodlawn and it has some of the people of fame and more ordinary folks buried there. Nothing as elaborate though.

I will now go back and check out the links on some of your trips.

Low Tide High Style said...

Your photos are beautiful! And what a lovely historic cemetery!

Thank you for stopping by my blog and entering to win my giveaway, good luck!

Kat :)

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful photos, I loved this cemetery. The Monk parrots are cool too!

Michelle said...

Oh my, what a beautiful place! It looked especially magical with the snow ~ the view is fantastic. Thanks, as always, for sharing such wonderful places..

xinex said...

What a beautiful tour! I love touring cemeteries too, especially the old ones. They are so interesting and so historical. The birds are amazing..Christine

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I've had your blog open all day looking at your photos again and again. I am in AWE of the quality and of this beautiful location. I absolutely LOVE the collage of angels you made. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It's somewhere I will probably never get to see so I really appreciate the glimpse into such a wondrous place!

The Gathering Place said...

Beautiful photos. What a fun and interesting place to visit.

myletterstoemily said...

like greenwood? i loved it!

thank you for such an in depth

on our next trip, i will drag my
husband. he will be so impressed
that i knew something about the
city that he didn't!

RNSANE said...

Pat, I always love your posts about this beautiful, historic cemetery. Your pictures are outstanding and it looks especially pretty with its blanket of snow on everything. I really applaud your work on the Civil War project. These veterans on both sides of the conflict certainly deserve recognition and I'm sure their descendants are most appreciative!

suzanna said...

These pictures are beautiful! So much snow!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Beautiful, Pat! Just gorgeous!

I noticed that LC Tiffany was buried there. He designed the interiors of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine which is currently Flagler College. They are incredible, and it's one of ther largest collections of Tiffany windows in a building in the world. Henry Flagler hired him, and the job basically put Tiffany on the map because the NY Social Register used to winter at that hotel prior to moving further south to Palm Beach.


Sheila :-)