New York City, NY, USA

A Tribute to the Most Beautiful Cemetery You'll Ever Visit in NYC

The Museum of the City of New York explores the history and beauty of Brooklyn's famous Green-Wood Cemetery, which turns 175 this year.

Photo courtesy of The Museum of the City of New York, gift of Mrs. Harry T. (Natalie) Peters "New York Pilot's Monument," a hand-colored lithograph by N. Currier (1855), is currently on display at the Museum of the City of New York.

If you're going to visit one cemetery in Brooklyn — or, arguably, New York City — make it Green-Wood Cemetery. Located in Greenwood Heights, just one R-train stop south of Park Slope, Green-Wood Cemetery is so vast and verdant you may forget you're walking through a graveyard. It's easy to spend an entire afternoon exploring the 478-acre grounds, whether you're hunting for famous gravestones (Leonard Bernstein, Basquiat and Boss Tweed, to name just a few), or simply enjoying the scenery.

To mark the cemetery's 175th anniversary, the Museum of the City of New York is mounting an exhibit, "A Beautiful Way to Go: New York's Green-Wood Cemetery." Running through Oct. 13, the exhibit showcases the cemetery's architecture as well as the works of Hudson River School painters buried there. It also explores the role that Green-Wood played in America's "rural cemetery" movement, which turned cemeteries from austere plots of land into landscaped, park-like destinations. The grounds, filled with beautiful trees, ponds and meandering paths, made Green-Wood a prime destination at a time when the city lacked public parks. In fact, the cemetery became the state's second-biggest tourist attraction in the late 1800s, welcoming half a million visitors per year.

The Museum of the City of New York is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Or pay a visit to Green-Wood (we highly recommend it), which is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer.


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