The Greenhouse

Mount Auburn’s Greenhouse, a 9,500 square-foot facility comprised of four adjoining glass-houses exemplifies sustainable greenhouse construction. Among its many features are open-roof venting, side-wall and ceiling curtains, high-efficiency boilers for radiant floor heating to create the most energy-efficient climate-controlled environment, and a below-ground 30,000 gallon cistern for collecting rainwater from the greenhouse roofs to irrigate the growing plants inside.


Constructed: 2013
Designer: William Rawn Associates
Dimensions: 9,500 Square-Feet

Features: Four adjoining glass-houses, open-roof venting, high-efficiency boilers for radiant floor heating, 30,000 gallon rainwater cistern.

On April 6th 2013 Mount Auburn Cemetery celebrated the opening of its new Greenhouse along Grove Street in Watertown. The new facility replaces Mount Auburn’s previous 41-year-old facility at the same location.

The construction of the facility, which began in June of 2012, was managed by Consigli Construction, Co., Inc. and was the latest in a series of updates to the Cemetery's horticultural centers which began in 1935 with the construction of six Lord and Burnham greenhouses on a piece of land that had been purchased Northwest of Willow Pond (between current day Meadow and Field Roads). 

The historic greenhouses encompassed 23,200 square feet, which allowed enough space for the Cemetery to begin producing most of its own plantings. Additionally, there was a nursery, stone crushing shed, concrete mixing shed, and houses for propagating trees and shrubs. The land surrounding the greenhouse was made into a nursery consisting of 11 acres with several additional acres dedicated for a sod farm. 

The 1935 era greenhouse was torn down in 1971, after operating for 36 years in order to develop new burial space. Construction of smaller, more efficient greenhouses was started in early spring of 1971 on the site of the original caretaker's house. The caretaker’s house was moved intact to its new site in the work area during the summer, and by the end of 1971 the new greenhouses were occupied and in operation. 41 years later in 2012, the 1971 greenhouses were demolished and a larger, more sustainable facility now stands in its place.

Throughout the year, Mount Auburn’s Greenhouse offers seasonal cut flower arrangements for placement at graves and lots in the Cemetery. Visitors are also welcome to explore the Greenhouse whether attending our annual Holiday Wreath-Making Workshop, or just to drop-by to learn more about our current horticultural initiatives.

Please check our Current Hours page for more information on when the Greenhouse is open.

Horticulture and a Tradition of Landscape Design

Horticulture and a Tradition of Landscape Design

Generations of landscape architects, gardeners, and horticulturalists have contributed to a continual transformation in Mount Auburn’s character and design. Items from Mount Auburn’s Historical Collections provide a wealth of delightful and surprising details about the Cemetery’s renowned horticultural landscape and design legacy.

Horticulture and a Tradition of Landscape Design