A Bold New Vision
Bostonians founded Mount Auburn in 1831 for both practical and aesthetic reasons: to solve an urban land use problem created by an increasing number of burials in the city and to create a tranquil and beautiful place where families could commemorate their loved ones with tasteful works of art in an inviting and natural setting. The public flocked to the new cemetery and Mount Auburn quickly became the model for the American “rural” cemetery movement.
Today Mount Auburn continues its historic dual role as a sacred site and pleasure ground, serving as both an active cemetery and a “museum” preserving nearly two centuries of changing attitudes about death and commemoration and changing tastes in architecture and landscape design. Recognized as one of the most significant designed landscapes in the country, Mount Auburn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.