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Admiral David Glasgow Farragut Gravesite Designation Ceremony
Thursday, May-23-2013 10:00 AM
Woodlawn Presents: The Bronx Opera Company
Sunday, June-09-2013 03:00 PM
Countee Collected: Honoring Countee Cullen
Saturday, June-29-2013 12:00 AM
Surrounded by the bustling urban neighborhoods of the northern Bronx, Woodlawn is a lush oasis that is home to an extensive array of flora, fauna, birds, and insects virtually lost from much of New York City’s environs. It is also a refuge for local wildlife, including hawks, turkeys, chipmunks, coyotes, foxes, deer, and a host of insects, as well as a resting place for a variety of migrating birds. Its horticultural beauty is evident in an extraordinary collection of specimen plants, and it has one of the most impressive collections of mature trees of any developed urban landscape in America. These include six “Great Trees,” designated by the New York City Parks Department as some of the oldest and largest specimens in the area.
Woodlawn is designed in the landscape-lawn style, which emphasizes the relationship between landscape and classical architecture. One of its most distinctive characteristics is its circular lots, employed from 1868 until the 1930s. Defined by surrounding pedestrian paths, these lots provided ideal settings for private family mausoleums or monuments, which steadily populated the cemetery grounds.
From Woodlawn’s inception, existing woodland trees were selectively retained, and mature varieties were added in great numbers as new lots proliferated. Trees were historically planted along avenues at regular intervals to create shaded circulation corridors, as well as arranged informally with other plantings throughout the grounds. Many of these trees—including specimens of Eastern White Pine, European Cut-leaf Beech, Pendant Silver Linden, Umbrella Pine, Weeping Beech, and White Oak—as well as trees and plantings gracing the oldest plots, remain in place today. Also noteworthy is the cemetery’s large collection of century-old Japanese Maples.
Woodlawn continually made landscape improvements as its grounds developed, and affluent lot owners also engaged prominent designers such as the Olmsted Brothers, Beatrix Farrand, and Ellen Biddle Shipman to install custom landscapes to complement their monuments. These plantings and landscape features are imbued with deep sentimental, symbolic, and historical significance.
The adherence to a single, primary monument in family lots, prohibition of fences or other vertical visual barriers between lots, curvilinear paths and roads, water features, and specimen vegetation resulted in the spectacular assemblage of landscape-lawn style characteristics that define Woodlawn—a verdant, park-like setting within an urban environment, its horticulture underscoring its historic, semi-rural origins.