Cultural Landscapes

The Cultural Landscape Foundation which promotes the  preservation of significant landscapes in the US, uses this simple definition: "Cultural Landscapes provide a sense of place and identity; they map our relationship with the land over time; and they are part of our national heritage and each of our lives."

I've borrowed these definitions from their website of the four types of cemeteries.

Rural Cemetery
Time Period: 1831-1900

Established a short distance outside city limits as places to commune with nature, view works of art, and honor the dead. Rural cemeteries were typically organized by citizen groups, who then commissioned landscape gardeners, landscape engineers, and horticulturists to choose both sites and plantings to fit the shifting of social attitudes on death toward a melancholic and sentimental ennui. Inspired by Picturesque landscapes of Europe, rural cemeteries generally featured winding roads, a network of paths, and family lots incorporated into the topography.

A popular destination for visitors, the rural cemetery typically possessed an arrival assemblage of a gatehouse and administrative office, entry gates or piers and ornamental iron fencing. With guidebooks, visitors explored the cemetery studying the monuments, sculpture, plantings and overall site design.

Oakland Cemetery (1850) - Atlanta, GA
Rose Hill (1840) - Macon, GA
Mt. Auburn (1831) - Boston (Mt Auburn is considered the first example in the US)

Lawn Cemetery
Time Period: 1855-1920 

Developed by landscape gardener Adolph Strauch at Spring Grove Cemetery in Ohio, the “landscape-lawn plan” emphasized a bucolic landscape where plantings and monuments together created a unified composition. The focus was placed on the whole site rather than on any individual feature. Landscape Lawn cemeteries typically promote the erection of a single prominent monument with similar individual stones to indicate burial sites. Fencing and hedge barriers were discouraged, in order to provide continuity of the landscape. Families were encouraged to have a centerpiece memorial surrounded by matching footstones. The resulting clean lines and open spaces of the cemetery were easily maintained, lowering the price of the plots.

Crest Lawn Cemetery (1912) - Atlanta, GA

National Cemetery
Time Period: 1862-present 

U.S. government land purchased to provide burial sites for soldiers who died in service to their country, a move authorized by legislation passed during the Civil War. Burial spaces are traditionally designed in rows with standard upright memorials or flush grave markers. In addition to regional cemeteries, there are national cemeteries located within the boundaries of battlefields. Memorials commemorating specific wars, battles, or branches of the military serve as outstanding features within the cemeteries and provide space for ceremonies.

Arlington National (1864) - Arlington, VA
Marietta National (1866) - Marietta, GA

Memorial Park
Time Period: 1917-
The commemorative monuments at a memorial parks consist of similar flat flush plaques or markers. Because these cemeteries lack vertical monuments, the burial grounds develop park-like rolling lawns within which landscape features delineate the rows of plots and the larger sections of the cemetery. Central water features, statuary, or gathering spots are incorporated into the primary design to identify sections and enhance the beauty of the park. The concept is attributed to Hubert Eaton.

Arlington Memorial Park (1922) - Sandy Springs, GA

Churchyards and Family Plots
You will find two other types of cemeteries in this blog: the churchyard and family cemetery. These date from the earliest days of the colonization of America.

Churchyard examples:
Christ Church - Greenville, SC
Christ Church - Saint Simons Island, GA

Family examples:
Scribner - Cobb County, GA
Heards - Sandy Springs, GA

Stories in Stone: The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism, by Douglas Keister
The American Resting Place: 400 Years of History Through Our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds, by Marilyn Yalom
The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History, by David Charles Sloane

No comments:

Post a Comment