Renovation of Mt. Auburn Cemetery’s Chapel Completed

Renovation of Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Bigelow Chapel was recently completed. The following information was provided by Shawmut Design and Construction:

Shawmut Design and Construction, a leading $1.4 billion national construction management firm, announced its completion of a $15 million renovation of Mount Auburn’s Bigelow Chapel. The National Historic Landmark, located in Watertown reopened in December 2018 following enhancements to the 19th century building. Shawmut, together with William Rawn Associates and CSL, worked to enhance and preserve Bigelow Chapel’s façade and interior, which was originally constructed in 1845 out of Quincy granite. The team installed a new, floor-to-ceiling glass addition that complements the original Gothic Revival design by Dr. Jacob Bigelow and connects visitors within the space to the beautiful and meditative landscape outside.

Mount Auburn Cemetery Selling Land in Watertown

Mount Auburn Cemetery. Mount Auburn Cemetery is seeking a buyer for several acres of land in Watertown which it owns. According to a Boston Globe article, the historic cemetery located in Watertown and Cambridge plans to sell six acres of land. See the story here. The land, located on Grove Street, currently has a parking lot and used to be a cement plant.

Mount Auburn Cemetery Will Debut Nature Plays in June

Mount Auburn Cemetery provided the following information:

Announcing the world premiere of the“The Nature Plays”, the first series of site-specific short plays by Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Playwright Artist-in-Residence, Patrick Gabridge. 

“The Nature Plays” run from June 1-9, 2019 at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA. These five short plays highlight stories inspired by the rich natural environment of Mount Auburn with topics such as spotted salamanders in Consecration Dell, birders at Auburn Lake, and historic debates between naturalists who are buried at the Cemetery. Through comedy and drama “The Nature Plays”explore topics both current and whimsical from global warming to the secret world of mushroom hunting. Audiences will experience the performances at various spots across the grounds, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the natural world.

Free Playwriting Workshop with Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Artist in Residence

The following announcement was provided by Mount Auburn Cemetery:

Mount Auburn Cemetery presents Playwriting for a Cemetery. A Free Lunchtime Event Featuring Playwright Patrick Gabridge, Artist-In Residence. FREE EVENT – Thursday, Sept. 6, 12:00 pm

WHAT: Patrick Gabridge, Artist-in-Residence at Mount Auburn Cemetery, will offer a free lunchtime talk in Mount Auburn’s Story Chapel (580 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138) to discuss his process for researching and writing plays with a special focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of site-specific plays written for outdoor spaces. He will share his current sources of inspiration at Mount Auburn as he works on a series of short plays to debut in 2019. Playwright Patrick Gabridge is an award-winning writer of historical and contemporary stage plays, novels, audio plays, and screenplays.

Mount Auburn Cemetery Announces New Member of Board of Trustees

Mount Auburn Cemetery is pleased to announce the appointment of Watertown resident Robert Airasian to its Board of Trustees. Airasian, one of four recent appointments, brings valuable expertise that will further the Cemetery’s mission, vision, and values. A broker with Coldwell Banker, Airasian has a long history of supporting local businesses and not-for- profit institutions. He currently serves as a board member at the Watertown Community Foundation and a trustee at the Watertown Savings Bank. He previously served as a board member and past president (2011-2013) at the Watertown-Belmont Chamber of Commerce.

Historical Society Event Features a Virtual Tour of Mount Auburn Cemetery

The Historical Society of Watertown will present a visual tour through Mount Auburn Cemetery. The Historical Society sent out the following information:

“Watertown Notables: A Virtual Walk Through Mount Auburn Cemetery” Presented by Rosemarie Smurzynski

Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main Street, Watertown, in the Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room. Maude deLeigh Hodges wrote, “Watertown, Massachusetts, was founded in the
year 1630 and was the first inland settlement in Massachusetts. It began as a Puritan settlement and became a hub for trade and commerce  . .

Learn About the History of Mt. Auburn Cemetery at an Author’s Talk

The author of a book chronicling the history of the Mount Auburn Cemetery will speak in Watertown. 

The Watertown Free Public Library and The Historical Society of Watertown host a free Author’s Talk with Stephen Kendrick, who will discuss his book “The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America’s First Garden Cemetery, and Its Revolutionary and Literary Residents.”

In The Lively Place, Stephen Kendrick celebrates a vital piece of our nation’s history, as he tells the story of Mount Auburn’s founding, its legacy, and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets and reformers, according to the Watertown Historical Society. Stephen Kendrick is senior minister at the First and Second Unitarian Universalist Churches in Boston. He is the author of Holy Clues (Pantheon, 1999),Sarah’s Long Walk (Beacon Press, 2004), and Douglass and Lincoln (Walker & Co., 2008). The event will be at the Watertown Free Public Library will be held Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room at the library, located at 123 Main St.  

 

 

 

The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery will provide books for purchase at this event.

President & CEO of Mount Auburn Cemetery Wins National Award

The Garden Club of America (GCA) announced that David P. Barnett, President & CEO of Mount Auburn Cemetery, is the 2016 recipient of its Distinguished Service Medal. Previous recipients of this significant award, which was first given in 1953, include Thalassa Crusso Hencken (1970) of the television series “Making Things Grow,” Dr. J.C. Raulston (1993) director of the NCSU Arboretum, Marco Polo Stufano (1999) director of Wave Hill, and Florence Leanne Reed (2009), founder of Sustainable Harvest. According to the GCA’s official announcement, “Dr. David Barnett is dedicated to ecological, historically sensitive improvements at the 175-acre Mount Auburn Cemetery. During his leadership, Mount Auburn has risen to the highest horticultural standards in its 184-year history.” The GCA further writes that he has “reclaimed early nineteenth-century and late Victorian style rustic landscapes, restored monuments, and expanded the planting diversity.