Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland

Date added: October 10, 2023 Categories: Maryland Cemetery
Mausoleum (1979)

The cemetery was dedicated on July 13th, 1839. It was formerly the summer estate of Robert Oliver, a local merchant. Within a decade of its dedication, the gates and wallS are erected. Robert Cary Long, Jr. designed the gates and is considered the architect of the cemetery, the first garden cemetery in Baltimore. The magnificent Chapel designed by Riggin Buckler and G. Corner Fenhagen was built in 1929. The beautiful trees, cobblestone walks, and sloping landscape are a welcome relief from the surrounding heavily urbanized East Baltimore neighborhood. Among the best examples of outstanding memorials at Green Mount are Hans Schuler's "Meditation," the Baetjer Memorial, the Hilken Memorial, the Riggs Memorial, and W. H. Rinehart's "Sleeping Endymion" and "Strewing Flowers," the memorial figure made for the tomb of Mrs. Walters. Other important works of art include the Lanier Memorial and the Lucas Memorial by Edward Berge, which display a simple design of bronze flowers and lettering on a granite base.

The cemetery is operated by the Proprietors of Green Mount Cemetery, first appointed by the Maryland General Assembly in 1838. It is a non-profit organization, and the cemetery is still in operation.

Robert Cary Long, Jr. was one of Baltimore's most important architects. He designed St. Alphonsus Church in 1842, Old Engine House #6 in 1853, Franklin Street Presbyterian Church in 1844, and the Mount Calvary Church in 1845. His original design for the cemetery gates was an Egyptian style, but the Proprietors approved a Gothic version of his original design.

The present gates retain the central entranceway for carriages and the flanking pedestrian entranceways from the original Egyptian style design; however, the obelisks to either side of the carriageway were changed to battlemented towers, the entranceways set into a Gothic arch, the winged orb was removed and replaced with a battlemented parapet and dated stone, and the two towers were added to either side of the pedestrian arches. Long's Egyptian design is important in the realm of unbuilt architectural projects. In his recent book, The Egyptian Revival, Richard G. Carrott states that Long had a greater independence of form in his design for the gates than earlier designs of Egyptian Revival cemetery gates. His design was more inventive and compact than those of his contemporaries for the Laurel Hill Cemetery project.

The Green Mount Cemetery Chapel is one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Baltimore. Designed in the fashion of medieval English churches, it is similar in styling to the Edinburgh, Scotland tomb of Sir Walter Scott, whose writings influenced the development of the Gothic novel. The architectural team of John Rudolph Niernsee and John Crawford Nielson designed the structure. Niernsee and Nielson designed many important Baltimore buildings including Cambden Station, Calvert Station (demolished), Grace and Saint Peter's Church, the Asbury House, and the Thomas-Jencks-Gladding House. The architects chose to use brownstone construction for the chapel, one of the earliest uses of this material for an important Baltimore structure. The construction gives this 1851-56 building a massive appearance at the base; however, as Howland and Spencer state in The Architecture of Baltimore, " . . .the freestanding pinnacles, flying butresses, and traceried spire forecast a growing concern with design in terms of space as well as mass. More emotional than intellectual in its appeal, the structure looks very much like some of the imaginative Gothic edifices in painting by Thomas Cole." Sitting upon a hill within cemetery walls, the chapel's 102-foot spire can be seen from miles away--an important visual landmark in the area.

Among the famous industrialists and business leaders buried at Green Mount are Arunah Abell, founder of the Baltimore Sunpapers; Alexander Brown, founder of the banking house Alexander Brown and Sons; Isaac Emerson, founder of the drug company which invented Bromo Seltzer; Fielding Lucas of the famous publishing company by the same name; William Keyser, president of the Baltimore Copper Company and organizer of the Baltimore Copper Smelting and Rolling Company; and John R. Bland, the founder of United States Fidelity and Guarantee.

Important Baltimore philanthropists in the fields of education, art, medicine, and mental health were buried at Green Mount Cemetery. They include: Johns Hopkins, founder of Johns Hopkins University and Hospital; Enoch Pratt, founder of the Pratt Library system in Baltimore; Moses Sheppard, founder of the Sheppard and Pratt Hospital; Henry Walters, founder of the Walters Art Gallery; Harriet Lane Johnston, founder of the Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children at Johns Hopkins; Samuel Ready, founder of the Ready Asylum for Female Orphans; and Mary Garrett, founder of the Brynn Mawr School and Bryn Mawr College.

Thomas Wildey, founder of the International Order of Odd Fellows, is also buried at Green Mount. The I.O.O.F has long been an important institution in social/humanitarian concerns.

Important engineers and inventors are also buried here. The Winas family was instrumental in the success of the B & O Railroad. Winas invented the four-wheel truck, friction wheels, and camel-back locomotives. They were also sent to construct the Russian railroad system from St. Petersburg to Moscow. Obed Hussey, a rival of the Reaper Company, invented the steam plow, the first reaper, and a sugar cane crusher. Benjamin H. Latrobe, the great engineer who built the viaduct at Relay, is also buried in this cemetery.

Important Maryland women are buried at Green Mount. Etta Haynie Maddox was Maryland's first woman lawyer. Although she graduated from the Baltimore Law School in 1901, she was not allowed to take the bar examination until the General Assembly passed an act in 1902 that clarified the fact that women could be lawyers in the State of Maryland. She wrote the first suffrage bill introduced in the Maryland General Assembly in 1910. Annie Armstrong established the Baptist Woman's Missionary Society in 1888. She helped establish missionaries throughout the country and is recognized today by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for Home Missions. Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte is also buried at Green Mount. Her ill-fated romance and marriage with Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, is well-known in Baltimore and Maryland. The first interment at Green Mount in 1839 was Olivia Cushing Whitridge, the two-year-old daughter of a Baltimore physician.

Among those buried at Green Mount in the field of transportation are Commodore Thornton Rollins, the owner of a fleet of Baltimore Clippers, and Robert Garrett, the president of the B & O Railroad. Rollin's gravestone depicts one of his ships, "The Julia Rollins." The famed sculptor W.H. Rinehart is buried at Green Mount beneath his own work "The Sleeping Endymion." A. Aubrey Bodine, the great photographer of Maryland and Baltimore, and the poet Sidney Lanier are buried at this cemetery. Lanier's beautiful, yet simple marker is inscribed with "I am lit with the sun." The famous acting family, the Booths, have their family plot at Green Mount. Buried within the plot in an unmarked grave are the remains of John Wilkes Booth, assassin of Abraham Lincoln.

A great number of military leaders have been laid to rest within the walls of Green Mount. Many fought on different sides during the Civil War. Most prominent of the Civil War generals is Joseph E. Johnston of the Confederacy. He achieved early fame in the War at the Battle of Bull Run. Other military leaders included are names such as Brent, Elzey, Winder, Steuart, Little, Trimble, Gill, Bowerman, Huger, Deems, Bankhead, Dodd, and Tyler.

The number of military leaders in Green Mount is second only to the number of governmental leaders. Eight Maryland governors are buried at Green Mount. They include governors of the Civil War era such as William Pinkney Whyte and Thomas Swann and political rivals of the Depression era, Albert Cabell Ritchie and Harry W. Nice. The most recent governor buried at Green Mount was Theodore McKeldin. The remaining governors are Frank Brown, Robert McLane, and Augustus W. Bradford.

Most prominent among Baltimore mayors buried at Green Mount are Ferdinand C. Latrobe, mayor for many years between 1875 and 1895, and James H. Preston, whose name has been memorialized by the beautiful Preston Gardens. The other mayors buried here are James 0. Law, John Lee Chapman, James Hodges, and Theodore McKeldin.

Other governmental officials buried at Green Mount are Allen Dulles, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1953 to 1961; Lewis McLane, U.S. Secretary of State in the 1830s; three United States Senators: Daniel S. Norton, Jessie N. Bright, and Robert Goodloe Harper; and U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Archibald Campbell, 1853-1861.

Site Description

The 68-acre Green Mount Cemetery is bounded by North Avenue, Greenmount Avenue, Hoffman Street, and Ensor Street. A stone wall surrounds the entire cemetery, varying in height according to the topography of the area. Access to the cemetery is from the massive gates, designed by Robert Cary Long, Jr., located near the southwest corner of the cemetery at Oliver Street. Just beyond the gates on top of a hillside is the chapel designed by Niernsee and Nielson. Three other buildings lie within cemetery walls.

The cemetery is divided into irregularly shaped curved areas for burial plots by curving asphalt avenues and cobblestoned walkways. The cemetery is well-landscaped with large trees and well-manicured lawns. The topography features gently sloping curves and small hillsides.

Grave markers of every size, shape, style, and material cover the grounds. Many are simple crosses or semicircular stones; however, magnificent bronze and stone statues are numerous. Some burial vaults and plots have decorative cast-iron fencing. A few of the markets and vaults are of brownstone construction in harmony with the chapel's building material. A variety of architectural styles adorn the larger tombs, from Classical to Gothic.

The 110-foot-long symmetrical gates are located near the southwest corner of the cemetery in front of a cobblestone path. The Tudor Gothic gates feature battlemented towers, large entrance archways, cast-iron fencing, and stained glass windows. Towers rise to a height of forty feet; they are constructed of broken course cut stone.

The central entrance arch is flanked by two battlemented towers with buttressing. This arch, which is large enough for a carriage or today's automobile, is Gothic in shape with a stone surround. A simple stone cornice above the arch is surmounted by a battlemented parapet wall displaying a pentagonal stone dated 1838.

Flanking the central carriage arch are two smaller archways for pedestrians. Four stone steps lead to the Gothic arches, which have folding ornamented cast-iron fences. The arch is surmounted by a stone window hood with simple decoration, and it is surrounded by quoined stone. Above the arch are a cornice and parapet identical to that of the central arch.

To either side of the two pedestrian archways are small square towers housing the offices of the cemetery. The north tower has a stained glass window with simple tracery. The south tower has no stained glass, but in its place is a window of 4/4 panes within the Gothic arch. Both towers have buttresses, stone window hoods and surrounds identical to the pedestrian archways, a simple cornice, and a battlemented parapet.

The end building sections were apparently added at a later date. They have gabled roofs and square 4/4 sash windows and side doors with Gothic arches. The cemetery walls are connected to the tower sections and lie in front of the end building sections. The gates have been landscaped with small bushes and clinging plants, which are particularly heavy along the southern portion of the structure.

The rear of the gates are identical to the front, except for the large towers and rain spouts along the pedestrian archways. The south tower has two small Gothic-arched windows facing south.

The interiors of the three archways have vaulted ceilings and folding wrought-iron fencing. The entrances to the small towers are from the side under the pedestrian arches. The entrance to the south tower has been altered with a projecting square wood and glass doorway. The south tower has been divided into two floors: The first floor houses the offices of the manager of the cemetery, and the second floor contains an ornately decorated board room with decorative metal ceilings and walls, arched windows, a brass chandelier, and old prints of the cemetery. The north tower has not been altered.

It has original stained glass windows and an arched wood paneled and stained glass door. This tower houses a large reception space with bathrooms in the rear.

The Green Mount Cemetery Chapel, built in the Gothic Revival style is a symmetrical octagonal building of brownstone featuring a lofty spire, flying buttresses, stained glass windows, and ornately sculptured surfaces. The chapel sits on a hill within the cemetery walls and rises to a height of 102 feet.

Each of the eight building facades is defined by brownstone buttresses rising above the first-story walls and ending in crocketed pinnacles. All of the facades are similar except the entrance facade. The building walls are punctuated by large centrally positioned, pointed arch windows with geometric tracery. The windows are recessed into the building walls and surmounted by a pointed-arch brownstone window hood. The rear window is of stained glass. A brownstone water table spans the base of the. first floor, which is capped by a band course of quatrefoil molding surmounting another band course of ball-flower molding. A metal roof gutter completes the first story.

The entrance facade consists of a large brownstone porte-cochere with buttresses, pinnacles, and recessed pointed arches. This facade faces the cemetery gates. A pointed-arched hood surmounts the front archway. The side arches, which are wider than the front, are decorated with fleuroned molding. The porte-cochere is capped in band courses identical to those of the other facades. A large, wood-paneled double door recessed into a compound pointed arch has a pattern of geometric tracery similar to the windows.

The spire is supported by eight flying buttressed, which extend out to the surrounding crocketed pinnacles and butresses along the building walls. The flying buttresses define the building's second story. Each facade is punctuated by a centrally positioned, multi-foiled arch window set into a lancet arch with a brownstone window hood. Above these windows, the building walls recede and each facade is punctuated by three small lancet-arched windows. Large ogee-arched openings with Gothic tracery surmount the smaller windows. The arches are capped in a bouqueted finial. The buttresses rise above these openings, ending in crocketed pinnacles. Surmounting the buttresses and ogee-arched openings is the traceried spire with fleuroned decoration; it is capped in a bouqueted finial.

The interior has extensive vaulting and Gothic decoration. Eight Gothic pillars are placed around an octagonal stone platform in the center of the chapel. Compound pointed arches surmounting the Gothic pillars encircle the nave of the chapel and connect the pillars to vaulting shafts along the aisles. The vaulting ribs converge in fleuroned decoration. Vaulting shafts between the compound archways rise along the walls of the nave divided by multi-foiled arch windows recessed in lancet arches. Ribs surmounting the shafts converge into a circular opening from which a large chandelier is hung.

A decorative wooden handrail encloses three sides of the octagonal platform in the center of the chapel. A casket can be lowered from the center of the platform to a crematory in the basement. A stairway along the rear of the chapel also leads to the basement. The crematory was added in the 1930s, the only alteration to the original design of the structure. The addition of the crematory necessitated the construction of a stone-enclosed smokestack outside the chapel to the right of the entrance facade. It is decorated in a manner compatible to surrounding markers and statues.

The mausoleum, located in the northeast section of the cemetery, is surrounded by circular avenues. The building is square with cut corner. Each side is approximately fifty feet long. The third level is octagonal and set back about eight feet from the walls below. A pair of Doric columns support the front entrance flanked on each side by a series of pilasters. Two pedestals with three-legged urns are located on each side of the building. Relief murals are positioned at each corner on the second story. The building is capped with cresting of a shell design.

The other two buildings are cottages for the groundskeeper and maintenance crews. The northwest residence along Greenmount Avenue is a small stone building characterized by large shed dormers. The building has 4/4 sash windows, segmentally arched brick lintels, a simple porch with wooden columns, a gable roof, and a centrally positioned roof dormer. This L-shaped structure is about 30' long.

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Overall View front facade (1979)
Overall View front facade (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Rear view (1979)
Rear view (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Carriage Way front facade and Flanking towers (1979)
Carriage Way front facade and Flanking towers (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Pedestrian archway building section (1979)
Pedestrian archway building section (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Stained Glass window-north tower section front facade (1979)
Stained Glass window-north tower section front facade (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Southern rear facade-pedestrian arch, tower and end building sections (1979)
Southern rear facade-pedestrian arch, tower and end building sections (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Facade looking South of southern tower and and building section (1979)
Facade looking South of southern tower and and building section (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Entrance to north tower from within archway (1979)
Entrance to north tower from within archway (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland The board room 2<sup>nd</sup> floor Southern tower section (1979)
The board room 2nd floor Southern tower section (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Board Room - Ceiling detail (1979)
Board Room - Ceiling detail (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Overall side view (1979)
Overall side view (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Rear view (1979)
Rear view (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland View of spire (1979)
View of spire (1979)

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland Front View of Porte Cochere (1979)
Front View of Porte Cochere (1979)