Forest Lawn Cemetery (Buffalo, New York)

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Forest Lawn Cemetery
1411 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14209
CountryUnited States
Coordinates42°55′51″N 78°51′39″W / 42.93083°N 78.86083°W / 42.93083; -78.86083
Owned byForest Lawn Group
Size269 acres (1.1 km2)
No. of graves165,000
Find a GraveForest Lawn Cemetery
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Forest Lawn Cemetery (Buffalo, New York) is located in New York
Forest Lawn Cemetery (Buffalo, New York)
Forest Lawn Cemetery (Buffalo, New York) is located in the United States
Forest Lawn Cemetery (Buffalo, New York)
Location1411 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14209
ArchitectClarke, Charles E.; Earnshaw, Joseph
NRHP reference No.90000688[1]
Added to NRHPMay 10, 1990

Forest Lawn Cemetery is a historic rural cemetery in Buffalo, New York, founded in 1849 by Charles E. Clarke. It covers over 269 acres (1.1 km2) and over 152,000 are buried there, including U.S. President Millard Fillmore, First Lady Abigail Fillmore, singer Rick James, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, and inventors Lawrence Dale Bell and Willis Carrier. Forest Lawn is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Since its inception, Forest Lawn has served as a cemetery, park, arboretum, crematory and outdoor museum. Monuments, mausoleums and sculptures have attracted visitors for over 150 years. The first sculpture of Seneca Indian chief Red Jacket was erected in 1851. Red Jacket is depicted wearing the richly embroidered scarlet coat presented to him by a British officer, while on his breast is displayed the large silver peace medal awarded to him by President George Washington.[2][3]

Forest Lawn Cemetery map in 1908

Every summer Forest Lawn offers "Sundays in the Cemetery" tours, each with a particular theme. Past examples have included the Pan-American Exposition Trolley Tour, Forest Lawn History Trolley Tour, Forest Lawn History Walk, Civil War Bus Tour and the Forest Lawn Nature Walk.

In 2023, Forest Lawn lobbied the city of Buffalo to block the construction of a four-story mixed-use building with 41 housing units on the site of a former gas station and vacant single-story retail building. Forest Lawn officials argued that the building would have adverse impacts on one of its crematories and cast shadows on the cemetery.[4]

Margaret L. Wendt Archive and Research Center[edit]

In 2014, the 3,140-square-foot (292 m2)[5] Margaret L. Wendt Archive and Resource Center opened within the cemetery. It is a digitized history center, of interment records maintained since 1849,[5] that features a number of interpretive displays highlighting the notable citizens buried in the cemetery. The building features climate controlled rooms and the design of the building mimics some of the historic structure that once stood at the same site.[6] The staff includes Amizetta Haj (Interpretive Program Director), John Edens and staff. Construction and funding for the Center was provided by The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation along with support from The John R. Oishei Foundation.[5]


In 2004, Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1928 design for the Blue Sky Mausoleum was realized. The Mausoleum contains 24 crypts, which can be purchased and memorialized by individual owners. The Blue Sky Mausoleum is one of three Frank Lloyd Wright memorial sculptures in the world. Sculptor David P. Dowler created a Steuben Glass piece in a limited edition of 26, of which 24 are reserved for those who purchase crypts in the Mausoleum. Crypt clients also receive a copy of architectural historian Richard O. Reisem's 2005 book, Blue Sky Mausoleum of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Other mausoleums in the cemetery include:

  • Burgess-Little Mausoleum – designed by H. H. (Henry Harrison) Little.
  • Butler Mausoleum – constructed for Edward H. Butler, proprietor of the Buffalo Evening News.
  • Buswell-Hochstetter Mausoleum
  • Good Mausoleum – constructed for Daniel B. Good, who established the Seibert-Good Company in Chicago, which later consolidated with the Seymour H. Knox stores of Buffalo, N.Y. and finally amalgamated with the F.W. Woolworth Company.
  • Goodyear (Frank) Mausoleum – constructed for Frank Henry Goodyear, who, with his brother, Charles W. Goodyear, started the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad.
  • Kellner Mausoleum – constructed for John. S. Kellner, president of the Crystal Ice and Storage Company.
  • Knox Mausoleum – constructed for Seymour H. Knox I, co-founder of F. W. Woolworth Company.
  • Laub Mausoleum
  • Letchworth-Skinner Mausoleum
  • Mitchel H. Mark Mausoleum – constructed for Mitchell Mark, founder of the Vitascope Theater Company
  • Oberkircher Mausoleum – constructed for Caroline Oberkircher and family.
  • Pierce (George) Mausoleum – constructed for George N. Pierce who co-founded a company known as Heinz, Pierce and Munshauer for the manufacture of refrigerators, birdcages, iceboxes and bathtubs, until leaving to establish the Pierce Cycle Company, which later became the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Co.
  • Stachura Mausoleum – constructed for Chester and Gloria Stachura.
  • Steuernagel Mausoleum – constructed for John Steuernagel, president and board chairman of Kleinhans department store.
  • Vars Mausoleum – designed by Lawrence Bley and Duane Lyman. Interred are Harry Thorp Vars, Gertrude Waltho Vars, Mary G. Vars, Addison Foster Vars, Addison F. Vars Jr., Aline Vars, Carlton J. Balliett, Evelyn Waltho Balliett Jr., Rose Waltho Brown, Bertha W. Barker, and Estelle Noell Reavis.
  • Walden-Myer Mausoleum – designed by Richard A. Waite for Buffalo's mayor from 1838–39,[7] Ebenezer Walden, and son-in law, Albert J. Myer, recognized by many as the "founder and father" of the US Weather Bureau.[8]
  • Willams-Pratt Mausoleum


Others buried here[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Forest Lawn Cemetery : The Forest Lawn Group :: Buffalo, New York". Archived from the original on October 17, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  3. ^ "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)" (Searchable database). New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved May 1, 2016.[permanent dead link] Note: This includes John A. Bonafide (March 1990). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Forest Lawn Cemetery" (PDF). Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016., Accompanying photographs Archived 2016-08-06 at the Wayback Machine, and Accompanying captions Archived 2016-08-06 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Forest Lawn opposes proposed four-story apartment building at Locker Room bar site". Buffalo News. December 19, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c Nussbaumer, Newell (November 19, 2013). "Forest Lawn's Margaret L. Wendt Archive & Resource Center". Buffalo Rising. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Nussbaumer, Newell (September 20, 2014). "The Margaret L. Wendt Archive and Resource Center". Buffalo Rising. Archived from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Rizzo, Michael. "Through the Mayor's Eyes: Ebenezer Walden". The Buffalonian. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  8. ^ "General Albert J. Myer (1829–1880)". National Weather Service, Buffalo. Archived from the original on March 8, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Roll of Honor". The Buffalo Commercial. May 31, 1900. p. 8. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "Dr. Willis H. Carrier, 'Father of Air Conditioning'". Buffalo Evening News. October 9, 1950. p. 32. Retrieved February 28, 2024 – via access icon
  11. ^ Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums (1970). Isaacson, Doris A. (ed.). Maine: A Guide 'Down East'. Rockland, Maine: Courier-Gazette, Inc. pp. 260–261.
  12. ^ Mr. Spaulding and Greenback Resumption (1875, October 16). In The Commercial and Financial Chronicle (Vol. XXI, p. 358). New York: William B. Dana.

External links[edit]