Brooklyn Cemetery Adding Visitor’s Center

Soon, rather than buying flowers right outside of the Green-Wood Cemetery, you’ll be ushered into a…visitor’s center for the cemetery. That’s right, if not a little odd. The Green-Wood Cemetery has made plans to buy the historic greenhouse that sits right outside of its gates.

Saving an Old Building

The beautiful, but dilapidated 19th century Victorian building is currently owned by florists, but they are struggling to stay afloat. As a result, Green-Wood president Richard Moylan explained that the cemetery has created a deal to buy the Weir-McGovern Greenhouse.

As Moylan said,

“There’s this beautiful building right outside our gate that’s falling apart. He’s just been hammered. He tried to stick it out but times have just caught up with him…It looks like it did in 1895 now, with 116 years of neglect.”

He added, “We want to make it whole again.”

The Visitor’s Center Plan

The plan for this Brooklyn space is, oddly enough, a visitor’s center and museum for the cemetery. With the goal of opening in 2013, they plan to house exhibits on the history of the cemetery and art and inventions by people who are buried within. They envision this shift as a necessary mechanism for the space, as the cemetery will run out of new burial room within five years.

As Moylan explained,

“In the future, there won’t be people coming to visit loved ones any more when we’re no longer actively burying. Then we’d have 500 acres in the heart of Brooklyn of green space with nobody in it.”

Bringing In Visitors

Moylan wants to make sure that people continue to come to visit the cemetery, as it changes its purpose. After visiting a historic cemetery in Baltimore that was completely empty, Moylan said, “This can’t happen in Brooklyn. This just won’t be allowed to happen in Brooklyn.”

Picture by Joe Marino for The New York Daily News.

James

James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)gowanuslounge.com.