When Henry Pierrepont selected this site for one of America’s first rural cemeteries, the newly incorporated city of Brooklyn had roughly 30,000 residents and New York City (Manhattan) had 300,000. Pierrepont could never have imagined that a consolidated New York City in 2016 would reach a population of eight-and-a-half million. Yet regardless of how many residents make up our crowded metropolis, urban dwellers will always seek an oasis in nature.
With the myriad distractions of modern living, Green-Wood offers a rare opportunity to escape the frenzy of urban life, without having to leave the city. As one of our trustees described Green-Wood, its grounds offer an abiding tranquility.
We are a peaceful sanctuary for those who come to remember and reflect. Green-Wood is a cemetery and a place of remembrance. We have provided a magnificent, natural setting to honor the memories of those who have gone before us since 1838.
Yet Green-Wood is so much more than an urban retreat.
It’s a bold statement to say that Green-Wood is working to redefine what a cemetery is, but that is exactly what we’re doing here in Brooklyn. Green-Wood’s unique combination of features – art, history and nature – offer New Yorkers and visitors from around the world an experience unavailable anywhere else.
We are a National Historic Landmark that spans 478 acres of hills and glacial ponds. Our grounds comprise an accredited arboretum of over seven thousand trees. We host monuments and memorials – many by world-class sculptors and architects – for over 570,000 persons who made New York City their home. Further, Green-Wood is the repository of millions of archival records and a collection of photographs, artwork and documents that help tell the story of its “permanent residents”.
Finally, we regret to announce the passing of our longtime trustee, Thomas C. Pryor who died on New Year’s Eve in 2015 at the age of 96. He served as a valuable member of the Investment Committee and will be remembered with great fondness by his fellow trustees. Long after he departed New York for his beloved Key Biscayne, Florida , he continued to praise and support Green-Wood’s efforts in the cultural arena. We are grateful for his many years of service to Green-Wood and send our deepest condolences to his family.