Learn About Green-Wood Cemetery In A New Video Narrated By Actor John Turturro


The New York Landmarks Conservancy alerted us to this new video that actor John Turturro narrates about Green-Wood Cemetery – and while it’s meant to raise money for the burial grounds, it’s also a neat bit of history about the space where more than 560,000 people are buried, from composer Leonard Bernstein to Boss Tweed and thousands of Civil War veterans.

Turturro, who has been in such films as “Do The Right Thing” and “The Big Lebowski,” gives us a quick overview of the history of the cemetery, which was created in 1838 and is the oldest landscaped space in the city; it predates both Central Park (which opened in 1857) and Prospect Park (which opened in 1867). Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, points out in the video that, “at one point, in the 1860s, this was the second most popular tourist attraction in the country, after Niagara Falls.”

“Green-Wood is unlike any place in New York City,” Turturro says. “It’s a mecca for history lovers, bird watchers, Brooklynites, and New Yorkers who want to get away from the urban grind – just as they did in 1838 when Green-Wood was opened.”

Now designated a national historical landmark, Green-Wood has 478 acres of hills and valleys provided by the glacial moraines, as well as one of the largest outdoor collections of 19th and 20th century statuary and mausoleums. The Battle of Brooklyn was partially fought on the land that became the cemetery, and Scot Medbury, president of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, notes in the video that Green-Wood has “one of the largest, oldest, and most diverse collection of trees in the northeast,” including a pair of Sassafras trees that pre-date the cemetery.

A number of sports greats are buried in Green-Wood, including Brooklyn Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets; baseball player Fred Jacklitsch – who played for the New York Highlanders, which became the Yankees; and Henry Chadwick, who’s often referred to as the “father of baseball.”

To find out more about Green-Wood, visit its website or Facebook page.

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  1. Here is
    something, happening in your own back yard, that you can add to your
    “(Kick the) Bucket List”: a one-of-a-kind tour for you and your friends
    at Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark in Brooklyn.
    The Gay Graves Tour will
    introduce you to the famous and the not-so-famous gay men and lesbians
    who are among the permanent residents at Green-Wood. The Gay Graves Tour
    is conducted entirely on foot; the amount of hilly territory covered makes this a vigorous hiking tour. Think of it as a Haunted Hiking Tour!

    Beginning at the fabulous Victorian Gothic entry gate to Green-Wood, we visit the final resting places of four gay composers: Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Leonard Bernstein, Paul Jabara and Fred Ebb, as well as those of the groundbreaking lesbian artists, Violet Oakley and Emma Stebbins.

    centuries-old trees, fabulous works of art, and bucolic surroundings
    enjoy a fascinating dose of gay history, New York history and U.S.
    history during this unique tour.


    Gay Graves Tour will be conducted on Sunday, October 5th and Sunday, October 12th, promptly at 11 AM
    Cemetery, 500 25th St. at Fifth Ave., Brooklyn (The 25th St. R
    stop is only 1 block from Green-Wood. From Manhattan & Queens, ride
    the express Q train to DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn, changing there to a local R
    Tickets are $30/person.

    For details and to buy tickets, please visit


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