June 27, 2011

Gillibrand Calls For Historic Landmark Designation For Woodlawn Cemetery

Gillibrand: Landmark Designation for Famous Resting Place Will Help Preserve City’s Heritage, Maintain Memorial Grounds for History’s Greats

Bronx, NY –U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) urged the U.S. Department of the Interior to designate Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx– recognized internationally as the resting place of many renowned Americans – as a National Historic Landmark.

Senator Gillibrand wrote in a letter to Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, “I once again would like to voice my strongest support possible for this application and hope that you can provide the final decision in an expedited manner… The Cemetery’s importance is indisputable as it is recognized internationally as the final resting place for many famous Americans in our Nation’s history.”

The National Historic Landmark designation would support preservation efforts at Woodlawn Cemetery, maintaining this site as part of the City’s heritage for generations. Established in 1863, Woodlawn honors three hundred thousand individuals memorialized on its grounds. The site’s monuments represent some of the nation’s finest examples of memorial architecture and art, including over thirteen hundred private mausoleums.

Iconic legends memorialized at Woodlawn Cemetery include women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, jazz musicians Miles Davis and Duke Ellington, Former Mayor of New York City Fiorello H. La Guardia, Moby Dick author Herman Melville, as well as many other notable leaders of the arts, business, and civic life.

In October 2010, Senator Gillibrand threw her support behind the designation of Woodlawn Cemetery. Now that the Department of Interior moved to nominate the site, Senator Gillibrand is reiterating her strong push for the site to become a national historic landmark.

The full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter is below: 

Dear Secretary Salazar,

I applaud the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program and the U.S. Department of the Interior for their decision to nominate Woodlawn Cemetery for designation as a National Historic Landmark. I supported the application in a letter to National Register Chief Paul Loether in October 2010 and was thrilled to have seen that the site received this nomination.

It is my understanding that the application submitted by Woodlawn Cemetery is awaiting final approval from the Department of the Interior. I once again would like to voice my strongest support possible for this application and hope that you can provide the final decision in an expedited manner.

This important distinction will allow Woodlawn Cemetery, which is located in the Bronx, New York City, to support preservation efforts, keeping this historic landmark as a part of the City’s heritage for years to come. The Cemetery’s importance is indisputable as it is recognized internationally as the final resting place for many famous Americans in our Nation’s history. Among these individuals are prominent women’s rights activists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alva Belmont, Carrie Chapman Catt and C.J. Walker, the founder of the Salvation Army, Emma Booth, jazz musicians Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and W.C. Handy, and Moby Dick author Herman Melville.