Massachusetts Historical Commission - 2006 Preservation Award Winners
Mount Auburn Cemetery - Watertown & Cambridge
Mouth Auburn Cemetary - Watertown & Cambridge, MA

Special Recognition in Honor of its 175th Anniversary

Known as a "silent city on a hill," Mount Auburn Cemetery began the rural cemetery movement with its establishment in 1831. Before the creation of Mount Auburn, cemeteries were barren landscapes, often poorly maintained and devoid of plantings. Incorporating ideas from English landscape ideals, the founders of Mount Auburn Cemetery laid out the grounds following the natural features of the land. Mount Auburn's rural landscape design made a huge impact across America, with nine major cemeteries using it as a template for their burial grounds.

Local residents went to Mount Auburn simply to find relief from hectic city life, and the cemetery became instrumental in the development of the American park movement. Because cities provided few outdoor places for public enjoyment or recreation, Mount Auburn and other rural landscape cemeteries give urban dwellers the opportunity to get away from congested city streets.

Mount Auburn has had an impact on the social fabric of the greater Boston area. Burial in Mount Auburn Cemetery integrated individuals in a manner not seen in life. Former slaves could be buried next to politicians and feminists could be buried next to religious leaders.

Today, Mount Auburn continues its historic dual role as sacred site and pleasurable aesthetic and natural attraction, serving as an active cemetery and a vital educational and recreational resource in an increasingly urban area. The Massachusetts Historical Commission is pleased to recognize the accomplishments of Mount Auburn Cemetery on the occasion of its 175th anniversary.

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