Graceland Cemetery is where it’s all at.
It used to be that Lincoln Park was a cemetery, early planners believed it was far enough from the city that all those cholera vapors would stay far away. Of course, pretty quickly, the city encroached on the cemetery. The bodies were dug up and moved (yeah, sure they were) and many moved to the brand new Graceland Cemetery that sat 4 more miles away and was almost, somewhat, on a hill.
Graceland is a who’s who of Chicago history and it is really glorious. For me, it feels like this is the closest I’m ever going to get to these heroes of mine. Some highlights:
This lady, I just thought she was pretty and she’s right by the entrance so you get in the mood:
How about these cemetery row-houses? It’s like: Real World – Graceland.
This is Getty’s Tomb, some consider this the apex, the epitome, the best of Louis Sullivan’s work. The reason why is because of all of the joy and life within the design and ornament. How alive it is and joyous it is:
And just in case you were worried about him, Louis Sullivan is buried here. When he first came to Graceland in 1924, his grave was barely marked. Now, he has a lovely tombstone:
Buried not really near Sullivan, is the man who tried and failed to protect his buildings, Richard Nickel. I have a lot to say about Richard Nickel and finding his grave was the whole reason I went to Graceland in the first place:
The guy who gets the best spot is Daniel Burnham. He’s got a whole little walkway out into the pond all to himself. His tombstone is simple, but what surrounds it is not.
This is the bridge to the Burnham grave, you can see Burnham’s rock right at the end of the bridge there:
Here is it us up close:
This view of the pond from his grave highlights the very toned-down (not) eternal home of Potter and Bertha Palmer, that’s the columned structure you see to the left:
Now, I walked all around Graceland, a few hours and I missed all of these:
John Root, William LeBaron Jenney, Mies van der Rohe, Fazlur Kahn, George Pullman, Marshall Field
And so many more!
It’s a great way to spend a morning, wandering the history of this city in a whole new way. Here is more info on Graceland.