Cemetery design is important to the overall health and viability of a cemetery. A master plan identifies the vision of management and what the cemetery should offer. It is best created as a team effort with cemetery staff and managers involved in the process. Cemetery master plans should be prioritized based on cost and short-term goals, with flexibility for changes depending on cash flow. Cemetery master plans should include information on future expansion opportunities and growth potential. Listed below are some important tips for cemetery design.
First, cemetery design can work in harmony with nature. Today, there is a strong public preference for cremation, and urn interment of cremated remains is less disruptive to the environment than burial of a full body. A cemetery should integrate with the 4 ecosystems present on site. Infiltration of storm water and the design of retention structures are key components of “best practices” cemetery design. Incorporating these elements into the design of the cemetery helps create a beautiful and functional environment.
Green elements and reed beds have become integral components of cemetery design. Green elements can provide services for both the living and the dead by helping to regulate temperature and preventing soil erosion and flooding. These elements may also provide habitat for insects and small animals. Lastly, cemetery design can help promote a sense of calm and dignity, as the dead are aware of their surroundings. So, while it is not possible to please everyone, green elements should be incorporated into cemetery design.
Traditionally, cemeteries are dominated by evergreen trees. These trees symbolize everlasting life. Earlier, graves were placed wherever space was suitable, but they were always placed facing the east, pointing towards Jerusalem. These symbols of eternal life were meant to be buried facing the east, where it would be easier to be judged. In modern times, however, cemeteries are often the only part of a cemetery that retains its historical significance.
In addition to restoring the natural beauty of cemeteries, cemetery designers aim to provide reasons for people to connect with them. This can boost interest and funds, and they hope to bring new life to an urban landscape. Ultimately, they want to make cemeteries a place where history, the living, and the dead meet. By creating urban cemeteries that promote a sense of community, city officials can honor the past, while improving the environment and culture.
During the industrial revolution in Britain, a new trend emerged: urban cemeteries. These new urban cemeteries provided recreational open space. The result was the Birkenhead Park, which was modeled after Frederick Law Olmsted’s Central Park in New York. Similarly, the 1804 Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris inspired similar cemeteries throughout Europe. While ‘rural’ cemeteries can be very beautiful and serene, they are often not as functional and aesthetically pleasing as urban ones.
The concept of a rural cemetery was first conceived in Paris’ Pere-Lachaise cemetery in 1804. By the late nineteenth century, the concept was brought to the United States, with Mount Auburn in Cambridge as the first rural burial ground. David Bates Douglass, the chief Hudson Valley School artist, designed the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn in 1838. Its landscape features picturesque vistas of the Manhattan skyline. The cemetery also contains a Gothic Revival chapel designed by Alexander Jackson Davis. During the late nineteenth century, the design was completed and the cemetery opened.
Landscape-lawn cemeteries became popular after the Civil War. The park-like setting encouraged freestanding monuments and allowed the wealthy to commission the best artists and craftsmen. Fine art sculpture, stained glass, and metalwork became an integral part of cemetery landscapes. The design of a cemetery must be approved by the cemetery. In this case, cemetery officials will review the design of the memorial to ensure its aesthetic and cultural value. And finally, cemetery designs need to be aesthetically pleasing to the community.
A cemetery’s fence is a crucial part of cemetery design. Not only must it provide protection for visitors and maintain the cemetery’s natural beauty, but it must also abide by state and city codes. The cemetery commission will require eight-inch-wide curbing below chain-link fences. In addition, individual cemeteries must be fenced. Wood, picket style fencing, or double-looped crimped wire fences must meet these requirements. Moreover, individual cemeteries must also have a pedestrian gate. Cedar fences should be constructed at three to four feet in height.
The cemetery should be in harmony with the community’s culture and traditions. The design should be appropriate for the deceased’s age, gender, and physical condition. If a grave has been cremated, the cemeteries should be in harmony with the surrounding landscape. Alternatively, cemeteries that have a traditional landscape design may be more sensitive. You must choose a cemetery design that will honor the deceased’s wishes, while maintaining the natural landscape of the cemetery.