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    Wonders of Woodlawn Cemetery

    New York City’s second largest cemetery -- at just under 400 acres -- was once the site of a Revolutionary War redoubt. Founded in 1863, Woodlawn's first burial --of 28-year-old Phoebe Underhill--took place two years later. Since that time more than 300,000 people have joined her in final repose. Everyday New Yorkers share the meticulously manicured grounds with noted authors, inventors, journalists, showmen, politicians and the occasional Robber Baron. With its mix of simple steles, intricate sculpture, and elaborate family mausoleums, Woodlawn, designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011, is an architectural smorgasbord. Here are some of the sights that will enthrall.

    To the "Manor" Born

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Resplendent in spring, the Belmont mausoleum was designed by the preeminent architectural firm of Hunt & Hunt, and is a replica of France's St. Hubert's Chapel. Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont is entombed within, along with his wife Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont. Oliver Belmont's lineage was an illustrious one: The son of August Belmont Sr., whose money helped fund Belmont Park, and Caroline Perry, the daughter of Commodore Perry. Alva Smith Vanderbilt was a prominent figure in the women’s suffrage movement and a suffragette banner hangs inside the mausoleum in her honor.

    Memorial to a Marriage

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    One of Woodlawn's most visited sites is the larger-than-life bronze sculpture designed by artist Patricia Cronin in homage to her marriage to fellow artist Debra Kass. The couple were among the first to be married on July 24, 2011, the day gay marriage became legal in New York. Originally crafted of marble, and installed at the cemetery in 2002, Cronin later created the more durable bronze version. The monument depicting the lovingly intertwined figures rests atop the couple's future gravesite. It was unveiled in the fall of 2011 during the cemetery's “The Beautiful Women of Woodlawn” walking tour.

    Life With Father

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    In 1935, Life With Father author Clarence Day's autobiographical account of his youth was published. Peppered with humorous anecdotes about his Wall Street broker father, the book was later adapted as a Broadway play, a movie, and a television series. Although Day did not live to see the influence his work would have on popular culture (he died the year the book was published), he knew the longevity of the written word. In one of his earlier books, The Story Of The Yale University Press: Told By A Friend , Day wrote in part: "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts."

    The Five and Dime Store Magante

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Frank Winfield Woolworth and granddaughter, Barbara Hutton are entombed within this Egyptian-themed mausoleum. Designed by architect John Russell Pope -- whose designs also include The Jefferson Memorial--the Woolworth mausoleum features twin guardian sphinxes, Egyptian carvings, papyrus-styled columns and bronze doors with figures exchanging an ankh (the Egyptian symbol for life). Woolworth's first “Five and Ten Cent Store,” opened in 1879, eventually boasting 1,000 locations worldwide. The Woolworth Building which served as the company's former headquarters, is now both a National Historic Landmark and a New York City Landmark.

    The Pulitzer Prize

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Not long after emigrating from Hungary Joseph Pulitzer found his calling in the newspaper business as a journalist and publisher. In his lifetime, he owned both the New York World and the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Pulitzer died in 1911, and lay in repose in the library of his New York City home, a copy of one of his newspapers clasped in his right hand. Among the many condolences was a telegram from former U.S. Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks, which read: “The country has lost one of its greatest newspaper men and able citizens in Mr. Pulitzer...” After his death, his his name became synonymous with achievement in Journalism. His considerable wealth endowed the Columbia University School of Journalism and the Pulitzer Prizes.

    The Queen of Salsa

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    On July 22, 2003, a day that both the New York governor and New York City mayor declared "Celia Cruz Day," the Salsa Queen joined other musical greats --Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, George M. Cohan--in eternal slumber. Cruz’s mausoleum took a year to complete, and it is open and airy with two-foot windows on either side. It was Cruz's wish that even in death she would continue to be accessible to her multitude of fans. Visible on a shelf inside the structure are photos and keepsakes of the joyous life she lived.

    Canned Meat

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    This domed, soft pink mausoleum was designed by Renwick, Aspinall and Owen for the family of meatpacker Herman O. Armour. Armour, along with his brother Philip, began the family business, which still bears the family name, in 1867. Among their innovations: canned meats, meatpacking industry assembly lines, and refrigerated rail cars. At one time, Armour was the world's foremost meat processor and chemical manufacturer. .

    The Brewery Baron

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    A pair of stately lions guard the entrance to the Romanesque Revival mausoleum, which houses the remains of brewer George Ehret and his family. In 1866, the German-born Ehret established the Hell Gate Brewery, one of the late 19th Century’s largest breweries. In 1891, Ehret published a book about his success titled Twenty-Five Years of Brewing with an Illustrated History of American Beer. When Ehret died in 1927 more than 2000 people--including the German Ambassador--attended his funeral mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Despite the death of Ehret's son, George Jr., two years later, the Ehret family continued to run the brewery until 1935, when they sold to Colonel Jacob Ruppert, who once owned the New York Yankees.

    Hotelier Julius Manger

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Situated prominently near the Jerome Avenue entrance to Woodlawn, the Manger mausoleum was designed in 1927 by architect Franklin Naylor. He considered the domed Renaissance Revival structure to be one of his most intricate works, publishing a pamphlet about its construction. Built at a cost of approximately $260,000, the mausoleum contains an authentic Tiffany stained glass window, and, according to Naylor, is one of the world's largest private mausoleums. Originally built for the proprietor of a winery, the mausoleum was sold to hotel magnate, Julius Manger, in 1935. Manger's holdings included luxury hotels in Chicago, Boston, Washington, DC and New York. He died of a heart attack in one of them: the Hay-Adams House in Washington DC.

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