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Showing posts from February, 2009

The Mackay Family Mausoleum

One of my favorite sites at Green-Wood is the spectacular Mackay family Mausoleum. This mausoleum is not only an architectural marvel, but inside contains heat, electricity and an altar. The saga of the Mackay family would have rivaled popular1980's television soaps like Dallas and Dynasty. Patriarch John W. Mackay (I can almost see him played by John Forsyth), made his fortune in mining. It was after the sudden death of his son, John Jr., in 1895, that Mackay had this mausoleum built. When Mackay's younger son Clarence, was married, three years later, his parents gifted him with his very own Stanford White estate, Harbor Hill, situated on Long Island's "Gold Coast". Years later, Mackay's daughter, Ellin, would marry (against her father's wishes) world-renowned composer Irving Berlin.

Henry Evelyn Pierrepont

Often referred to as "The Father of Green-Wood," it was Henry Evelyn Pierrepont's vision and planning that made Green-Wood happen.
Pierrepont's Gothic-Revival, open-air mausoleum was designed by famed architect Richard Upjohn.

One of the most special places in Brooklyn

One of the most special places in Brooklyn is Green-Wood Cemtery. Twenty years ago, I saw it for the first time and thought it to be the most magnificent cemetery I'd ever seen. And, believe me, I had seen a lot of cemeteries in my career as a funeral director. Of course, back then, there was no way of knowing that twenty years later, in 2008, I would do a book about the place. But that's just what I did. After years of profiling noted cemeteries and famous funerals, as a freelance writer, I got the opportunity to delve into the history of the most famous cemetery in America. When I began the project, I knew of many of Green-Wood's famous denizens, but as I continued to research by traversing the grounds and reading all I could about the place and its history, it became a question of winnowing down subjects to include in the book. In fact, if I were to do a Green-Wood Cemetery Part II, III, IV & V, I sill could not possbly include all the stories Green-Wood has to tell…