Cypress Hills Cemetery (New York City)

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Cypress Hills Cemetery
CHC Main Office.jpg
Cypress Hills Cemetery Main Office
Established 1848
Location Brooklyn and Queens, New York
Country United States
Mae West's tomb visited by Lars Jacob
Main Entrance of Cypress Hills Cemetery

Cypress Hills Cemetery was the first non-sectarian/non-denominational cemetery corporation organized in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City. The Cemetery is run as a non-for-profit organization and is located at 833 Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn. The Cemetery occupies both boroughs, and its 225 acres are divided by the Jackie Robinson Parkway. Cypress Hills Cemetery retains its two primary entrances at Jamaica Avenue (Cypress Hills, Brooklyn) and Cooper Avenue (Glendale, Queens).


Established in 1848 east of the Ridgewood Reservoir, Cypress Hills Cemetery was opened for burials in 1851 and was designed to emulate a "rural cemetery" setting. A section of the cemetery was designated as the Cypress Hills National Cemetery in 1862 as a military burial ground for soldiers of the American Civil War. In 1941 it received the bodies of 235 Confederate prisoners who died on Hart Island.

In the late 20th century, there was a period of mismanagement and controversy, and finally declared bankruptcy. In 2003, there were charges by Ravi Batra, one of its former court-appointed guardians, who accused another of trying to seize control by quietly installing one of his own employees as president of the cemetery's re-formed board of directors in a bid to gain control of the 200-acre (0.81 km2) cemetery.[1]

Today, the cemetery serves as the final resting place for over 400,000 individuals. The history of Cypress Hills Cemetery is featured in the book Images of America: Cypress Hills Cemetery by Stephen C. Duer and Allen B. Smith.


The cemetery features:

  • Cypress Hills Abbey which was built in 1926.[2]
  • Memorial Abbey Built in 1936.
  • Melrose Memorial Garden Built in 2008.
  • 225 acres of Rural cemetery
  • An urn garden
  • War of 1812 Memorial
  • Civil War Soldiers plot
  • One Commonwealth war grave of Private Fred Wilshear, a World War I soldier of the British Army Labour Corps[3]

Notable interments[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In Marvel Comics, Cypress Hill Cemetery served as the headquarters of the supernatural superhero team, The Midnight Sons. The Cemetery was also introduced in many Ghost Rider comics featuring the Legion of Vengeance.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Newman, Andy (December 3, 2003). "New Woe for Troubled Cemetery". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-30. After years of mismanagement and controversy, Cypress Hills Cemetery, one of the city's largest, is out of receivership and emerging from bankruptcy. But new charges arose yesterday as one of its former court-appointed guardians accused another of trying to seize control through stealth and self-dealing. In court papers filed yesterday in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, the former receiver, Ravi Batra, claims that the former court-appointed managing agent installed its own employee as president of the cemetery's re-formed board of directors in a bid to gain control of the 200-acre (0.81 km2) cemetery. 
  2. ^ Alex Witchel (May 8, 2000). "Blown Sideways, but Landing on Broadway". New York Times. West is buried in the Cypress Hills Abbey, a mausoleum built in 1926, with her parents and siblings. 
  3. ^ CWGC Casualty record.
  4. ^ Cahiers Lithuaniens, 30 Nov 2005
  5. ^ Moynihan, Colin (26 May 2014). "A Quest to Recognize Forgotten Achievements Still Relevant in Everyday Life". NY Times. Retrieved 27 May 2014. Andrew Carroll placed a plaque for Dr. Thomas Holmes next to his burial site at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°41′21″N 73°52′31″W / 40.68917°N 73.87528°W / 40.68917; -73.87528