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Thread: Heritage designation for cemeteries

  1. #1
    Cyburbian jmf's avatar
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    Heritage designation for cemeteries

    Has anyone ever done a report recommending that a cemetery be designated a heritage site? I am just wondering what points you covered in the report.

    Also, does anyone have any guidelines for grounds maintenance at designated cemeteries. I have lots of info on restoration of stones and cataloguing etc but I am just looking for something to give the public works about mowing etc.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    In my Council area we have a cemetry listed as a heritage site- when i get into work (its 6 am here) i will have a look and get back to you.

    A lot of our cemetries over here are heritage listed- i guess because we are such a relatively new country, our cemetries are still in reasonable condition and you can still see the early settlers headstones, which is pretty incredible.

    We request a conservation management plan for most heritage sites, which lists a very detailed history behind a site and how the site will be maintained to retain its heritage significance. We get these when a development application is lodged with Council.

    Also our cemetry has a volunteer community group that looks after its running.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  3. #3
    It's been a while since I looked into this, but as I recall, cemeteries are not eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (U.S.), simply because they are the final resting place of somebody or another. To be eligible, they must be an examplary design, planning and construction (say Olmstead & Vaux, for example) and retain a high level of design integrity. But if the only claim to fame is the last living revolutionary war veteran is buried there, uh, no.

    Local designation should likely follow along the same lines -- the importance of planning, design, and construction should be paramount with its current integrity.

    Good luck!
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    It has also been awhile since I have had to look into this topic. Gedunker mentioned most of the major issues surrounding cemeteries. I have also found that unless it has an ancient Native American buried on the property or is a burial site, not much can be done for the overall protection of the cemetery.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    To be eligible, they must be an examplary design, planning and construction (say Olmstead & Vaux, for example) and retain a high level of design integrity. But if the only claim to fame is the last living revolutionary war veteran is buried there, uh, no.

    Local designation should likely follow along the same lines -- the importance of planning, design, and construction should be paramount with its current integrity.

    Good luck!
    I would disagree with this as the only reason for heritage preservation. Over here (in NSW anyway) we see cemetries as worthy on heritage listing in six ways- Historic, Social and Cultural, Archaeological, Architectural, Aesthetic and Scientific.

    I would argue that you would never dig up a cemetry, so why not list it as a heritage item, so that it can be preserved for years and generations to come?

    In terms of maintenence (i.e mowing) I our study (completed by a heritage architect and landscape architect) suggested how to conserve the site and what landscaping works should be undertaken.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    The Albany Rural Cemetery here in upstate New York is on the National Register of Historic Places. Maybe someone there can help you re: grounds maintenance guidelines.

    Link: www.albanyruralcemetery.org

    You could probably track down the original application nominating the cemetery to the National Register to see what points they covered... but you're in Canada, aren't you? I am not familiar with the process for heritage designation there.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by natski View post
    I would disagree with this as the only reason for heritage preservation. Over here (in NSW anyway) we see cemetries as worthy on heritage listing in six ways- Historic, Social and Cultural, Archaeological, Architectural, Aesthetic and Scientific.

    I would argue that you would never dig up a cemetry, so why not list it as a heritage item, so that it can be preserved for years and generations to come?
    Well, I didn't write the criteria, so it wasn't up to me.

    Here are the national register criteria, in case you're interested:
    http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publication...41/nrb41_7.htm

    By the way, I have been involved in several projects where it was necessary to remove small cemeteries--the biggest was about 17 plots IIRC. It is an extremely complicated and costly process.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Well, I didn't write the criteria, so it wasn't up to me.

    Here are the national register criteria, in case you're interested:
    http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publication...41/nrb41_7.htm

    By the way, I have been involved in several projects where it was necessary to remove small cemeteries--the biggest was about 17 plots IIRC. It is an extremely complicated and costly process.
    Thats interesting... i am not at all familiar with the heritage listing process in USA, but am i right in saying that the items that are listed are more or less state or national significant rather than more locally significant?

    Yeah i have heard people digging up some plots in order to do some road widening.. cost the Government and arm and a leg, but it is interesting stuff!
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  9. #9
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Historic Site, not a Heritage site

    Quote Originally posted by natski View post
    In my Council area we have a cemetry listed as a heritage site- when i get into work (its 6 am here) i will have a look and get back to you.

    Also our cemetry has a volunteer community group that looks after its running.
    Ditto us.. The cemetary here is City owned and volunteer managed/run.
    Last edited by boiker; 17 Jan 2007 at 4:37 PM. Reason: Historic Site, not a Heritage site
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian permaplanjuneau's avatar
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    (in the U.S.) National Register Bulletin #41 is "Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Cemeteries and Burial Places." It's online at http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins.htm.

    The City and Borough of Juneau prepared a multi-property nomination for a group of cemeteries in Douglas, Alaska in 1995, but the State Historic Preservation Office has sat on the nomination ever since, apparently because they don't know what to do with a multiple property nomination (there has never been one in Alaska). Our nomination document is attached. The good news is that they say they're working on it again...we'll see what happens.

    I've also got the study itself for this project if anyone is interested in looking through it--it's pretty interesting if you're a history buff. Unfortunately, the .pdf file is too big to attach, so if you want it please ask and I'll email it to you.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Here is the listings according to The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections in the Library of Congress. Found that there are 30 listings -

    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collecti.../subjectC.html

    Cemeteries more than likely would be under the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) program: http://www.cr.nps.gov/hdp/hals/index.htm
    Oddball
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