Mount Auburn Cemetery Tour

National Register of Historic Places

National Historic Landmark District

Mount Auburn Cemetery is the first landscaped rural or "garden" cemetery in the United States. Established in 1831, the cemetery was not only designed as a resting place for the deceased, but also as an attraction and pleasure ground, with picturesque landscapes, winding paths, a variety of horticulture, and sculptural art. Its success inspired other cemeteries' designs and articulated the need for public parks and gardens, launching the American parks movement.

The cemetery features several significant buildings and a wide variety of memorials and sculptures marking a remarkable range of notable lives. This guide is oriented to anyone interested in architecture, art, design, and the development of Boston and Cambridge, highlighting a unique cross-section of people and history. 15 architects and landscape architects are included in this guide; more are here at Mount Auburn (e.g., Walter and Ilse Gropius) but without a known memorial marker.

There are more layers to explore at Mount Auburn: famous writers, abolitionists, academics, scientists, politicians, businesspeople, artists, religious leaders and many others are among the 100,000 or so souls interred here, and the grounds represent a world-class arboretum and site for birdwatching. Printed maps are available in the gatehouse, and additional information is available at www.mountauburn.org.