Covering 478 square acres (193 square hectares), the Green-Wood Cemetery lies in the borough of Brooklyn, just south of Prospect Park, in New York. Founded in 1838 on a former Revolutionary War battlefield, this park-like cemetery houses more than 560,000 graves—including those of many notable figures—making it a fascinating place to stroll.
A US National Historic Landmark since 2006, Green-Wood Cemetery extends over rolling lawns speckled with trees and ponds and is the final resting place of many famous New Yorkers. Admission is free, and visitors can wander the pathways as they wish to view the richly sculpted Victorian-era mausoleums, tombs, and vaults, as well as the later memorials and gravestones. Green-Wood also runs daytime and evening trolley tours and themed walking tours.
Among the must-see graves are those of 20th-century composer Leonard Bernstein, stained-glass artist Louis Tiffany, telegraph inventor Samuel Morse, and members of the piano-making Steinway family—the latter interred in Green-Wood’s biggest mausoleum.
Things to Know Before You Go
Green-Wood is a must for American history buffs and those wanting to escape Manhattan’s bustle.
Wear comfortable shoes: The cemetery is vast.
Allow about two hours to see the key graves and absorb the nature and views.
Free cemetery maps and restrooms are available at the main entrance.
The cemetery’s pathways are largely wheelchair- and stroller-accessible, although some are narrow and steep.
How to Get There
Green-Wood is easily accessible via New York’s subway: Catch a train first to Brooklyn’s Atlantic/Barclay Center, and then take the R train to 25th Street station, from where you can walk straight along 25th Street to the main entrance. Drivers will find free parking at the cemetery.
When to Get There
Green-Wood has four gates—with slightly varying opening times—but most visitors use its main entrance at 5th Avenue and 25th Street. The cemetery is busiest on weekends, so visit during the week if you prefer to explore with fewer people around.
Look Beyond the Graves
Green-Wood’s graves aren’t its only attraction. Admire the main entrance’s Gothic Revival–style gate and the cemetery’s Civil War Soldiers’ Monument and statue of Minerva—her arm raised as if waving to the Statue of Liberty, visible across New York Bay. Green-Wood is also a bird-watcher’s haven: Look for the blue-green parakeets in the main entrance’s spires and for heron, egret, and sandpipers around its ponds.
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