Entries Tagged as 'bears dancing'

OHNY – Green-Wood Cemetery

October 12th, 2003 · 11 Comments

Green-Wood Cemetery Entrance, Brooklyn

Green-Wood is filled with really old, beautiful tombstones. The modern ones pale in comparison as far as the artistic expression & effort put into them.

The highest point in Brooklyn is in Green-Wood Cemetary. It’s called Battle Hill, and from this point you can clearly see Manhattan. This hill was once a military battleground in the Battle of Long Island in the Civil War. There is a Civil War Monument on the hill to commemorate it.

We were allowed to go into one of the mausoleums to view this beautiful stained glass.

Mother, Father

William Holbrook Beard was a painter of bears and other animals. For more than a century, Beard was lying in an unmarked grave. On October 15, 2002, a full-sized bronze bear monument, sculpted by Dan Ostermiller and generously donated by him to honor Beard was unveiled. This is the first new sculpture in Green-Wood in many years. (via Tomb With A View, Cemetery Special Events, "Picks of the Month")

Beard’s painting Bulls and Bears in the Market is an icon of the New-York historical Society’s collection. My favorite of his paintings is Dancing Bears

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

The catacombs haven’t been open to the public for 165 years. Green-Wood opened them up on Saturday for openhousenewyork but doesn’t have plans to keep them open afterwards. These are the skylights and vents that come out of the vaults of the catacombs underground.

Underground, the corridor of the catacombs is dimly lit with sunlight coming in from the skylights above. Off of the hall, to the left and to the right, are the tombs. Each is has a gate or door and is marked with an engraving.

Gate leading into one of the tombs.

A skylight in one of the tombs.

One of the tombs in the catacombs.

On the way out of the cemetery we came across this large circle of tombstones. Some of them dated back to the 1600’s. I’m still trying to piece together how exactly this can be since the cemetery wasn’t created until 1838. And also, since the Civil War wasn’t even fought on these grounds until the late 1700’s.

The really old, broken, and tilted tombstones were the ones that kind of creeped me out the most. Still, I love looking at them and trying to make out their weathered engravings.

One of our last stops was at William "Boss" Tweed’s family site. Boss Tweed was the notriously corrupt mayor politician of New York City in the late 1800’s.

One last look at the front gate before we leave. Everytime I turned to look at it it’s beauty shocked me. David Bates Douglass was Green-Wood’s landscape architect and first president. It’s him that we should thank for these magnificent arches.

Ever since reading Paul Ford’s essay on Green-Wood Cemetery early this summer it’s been a mission of mine to visit it. So, when I saw it listed as one of the openhousenewyork sites I was so excited to go.

After we were through at the Terrapin Chelsea Art Gallery, we all headed over to John’s Pizzeria, which I still believe is one of the best places for pizza in New York. We’ll see how Tien and Audrey rank it on their Pizza Review Page. After that, Tien and I jetted over to SoHo to catch the NR over to 25th Street in Brooklyn. When we got there a couple came out of the subway saying that the trains weren’t running.. .something about no power.. while talking to them we realized that we were all going to the cemetery so we split a cab.

Green-Wood Cemetery is the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve seen (not that I’ve seen a ton). Green-Wood was founded in 1838 with David Bates Douglass serving as the landscape architect and as its first president. It is the final resting place of nearly 600,000 persons, including some of history’s most memorable figures. Boss Tweed, Leonard Bernstein, Peter Cooper, William Poole (Bill the Butcher), the Brooks, F.A.O. Schwarz, Louis Tiffany, and Charles Pfizer are among the famous (and infamous) buried here. The cemetery is open to the public all the time, but the big draw for the openhousenewyork crowd was the catacombs. The catacombs have not been open to the public for 165 years.

Tien’s post on Green-Wood Cemetery
rion’s photos of Green-Wood Cemetery – small stones
rion’s photos of Green-Wood Cemetery – grave grandeur
rion’s photos of the catacombs
Michael Cosentino’s photos of Green-Wood Cemetery
Michael Cosentino’s photos of the catacombs
David Gallagher’s photos of Green-Wood Cemetery

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