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“One of New York's most beautiful outdoor areas”
Review of Woodlawn Cemetery

Woodlawn Cemetery
Ranked #7 of 61 things to do in Bronx
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Occupying more than 400 acres in the Bronx, this cemetery is known for the ornate and imaginative mausoleums and monuments of some of the country's most famous industrialists and politicians. Notable individuals include Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Celia Cruz, Irving Berlin, Herman Melville, and many more. Guide maps are available at both cemetery entrances.
New York
Level Contributor
147 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“One of New York's most beautiful outdoor areas”
Reviewed 28 December 2013

A superbly maintained historic cemetery that functions simultaneously as a sculpture garden. Woodlawn is a beautiful setting to visit any time of year. The numerous large evergreen trees and bushes provide variety even in the middle of winter. Various bird species reside in the cemetery and they, too, can be seen at different times of the year. For this reason, the cemetery never really seems "dead" even when most of the rest of the world is dormant. Spring is another lovely time to visit.

The main attraction for me are the different mausoleums, many with impressive stained glass windows, metalwork doors, and typographic styles. For enthusiasts of Art Deco, Woodlawn is a paradise. For history buffs, it can be exiting to identify the names on different monuments and associate them their deeds.

Cemetery security personnel are ubiquitous. Even though Woodlawn is in the Bronx, I felt completely safe strolling the cemetery grounds.

There is a restroom next to the cemetery office. Make sure to bring water with you, especially if you are visiting in the summer months. Apart from the BP gas station by one of the entrances, opportunities to buy anything in the immediate vicinity require trudging out of the cemetery.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Traveller2010NYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Historic passings”
Reviewed 1 December 2013 via mobile

Historic! There are many founders of New York City, laid to rest as well as established business heads, Tiffanys, to just name one. The mausoleum s alone are staggering! The architecture is so Romanesque and or Gregorian, that it transports you to serenity! Take a stroll and marvel, it is worth it!

Helpful?
1 Thank CASEYGUIATZ9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
127 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“A poignant reminder of the all too swift passage of time.....”
Reviewed 28 October 2013

I have always visited cemeteries throughout the world on trips I have taken. I learned a great deal from these visits about the local habits, how people lived, their beliefs, and how life and the afterlife were perceived. It became rather helpful doing business in many parts of the globe.

Woodlawn stands out among many of these cemeteries and is worth the trip. It is very easy to get there from Manhattan via car or public transit. Woodlawn was not built the way most cemeteries are. People brought in their own architects and had them design their last resting place. This is part of the beauty as one walks around from one mausoleum to the other.

What could be improved are the directions provided at the office. Navigating with a map through so many gravestones and mausoleums is extremely difficult to find what you are looking for. Perhaps some elegantly and unobtrusive markers could be placed for some of the most important sites.

As the brochure lets us know, Woodlawn was established in 1863, and is an active, 400 acre, non-sectarian cemetery. This oasis is in an urban setting with more than 300.000 individuals who are buried on its grounds. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011, and it was established by a group of prominent New Yorkers who envisioned a burial ground easily accessible from Manhattan. Many of Woodlawn's notable mausoleums, over 1300, designed by legendary American architects, landscape designers and sculptors are represented on the grounds. Many of these mausoleums also have artistically significant interiors, decorated to provide beauty. The collection of Tiffany windows and mosaics in these memorials are unsurpassed. You will find business Moguls and Philanthropists, Civic Activists and Public Servants, Musicians, Composers, and Producers, Stars of Stage and Screen, Artists and Illustrators, Writers, Athletes and Sport Figures, and Veterans.

As to my own experience, we walked for hours, reading gravestones/signs, and listening to the Audio, learning about the enormous impact these people had on American and World society, the industrial revolution of days past, the life styles, the intrigues, and the ugly divorces. So many of these structures are awesome, for example, one stands out in particular, The Belmont Memorial Chapel was commissioned by Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, and it exhibits the best of the Gilded Age craftsmanship. It is an exact replica of The Chapel of Saint Hubert at Chateau Amboise in France, which was designed by Leonardo DaVinci. Alva Vanderbilt Belmont was a major figure in the women's suffrage movement. After her death, Alva Belmont's coffin was carried into St. Hubert' Chapel at Woodlawn by the many women of that very same movement she had so strongly supported, also celebrating the history of women's progress toward equality.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank JWNewYorkCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
236 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Take a walk in there”
Reviewed 13 September 2013

I went to Woodlawn for the purpose of seeing a family grave, but the statuary you come upon is as good as if you were in an outdoor museum. Worth the trip if you are nearby.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Mary Jane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronx, NY
Level Contributor
99 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Beautiful day for a walk”
Reviewed 1 August 2013

Enter through the Jerome Ave. gate and you will be in the most stunning part of the cemetery. Make sure to get a map and visit some of Woodlawns most famous residents. You can also rent a self guided tour or join up for a guided walking tour. If you ar going to take pictures make sure to get a permit from the office.

The cemetery is beautiful and well maintained. You can stroll for hours just looking at the amazing mausoleums. There is so much history from all over the country in this one spot in the Bronx. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank mabeena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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