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Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

4.8
Graceland Cemetery is a large Victorian era cemetery located in the north side community area of Uptown, in the city of Chicago, Illinois, USA. Established in 1860, its main entrance is at the intersection of Clark Street and Irving Park Road. The Sheridan stop on the Red Line is the nearest CTA "L" station.History and geographyIn the 19th century, a train to the north suburbs occupied the eastern edge of the cemetery where the "L" now rides. The line was also used to carry mourners to funerals, in specially rented funeral cars, requiring an entry on the east wall, now closed. At that point, the cemetery would have been well outside the city limits of Chicago. After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Lincoln Park which had been the city's cemetery, was deconsecrated and some of the bodies moved here. The edge of the pond around Daniel Burnham's burial island was once lined with broken headstones and coping transported from Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park then became a recreational area, with a single mausoleum remaining, the "Couch tomb", containing the remains of Ira Couch. The Couch Tomb is probably the oldest extant structure in the City, everything else having been destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire.The cemetery is typical of those that reflect Queen Victoria's reconception of the early 19th century "graveyard". Instead of poorly maintained headstones, and bodies buried on top of each other, on an ungenerous parcel of land; the cemetery became a pastoral landscaped park dotted with memorial markers, with room left over for picnics, a common usage of cemeteries. The landscape architecture for Graceland was designed by Ossian Cole Simonds.
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Graceland Cemetery Reviews
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  • Anyone interested in the history of Chicago should visit. Many of the movers and shakers of the city are buried here, some in impressive strucures. Some of the famous are Potter Palmer, George Pullman...  more »
  • I love walking in Graceland. It's beautiful and basically an arboretum. The setting is peaceful and pretty. Additionally, it's Chicago history. Each grave is a "name" of the city. Really amazing to se...  more »
  • We spent a pleasant half hour or so exploring a small part of this serene link to Chicago‚Äôs past. At the north end a pond is surrounded by gravestones of many who have made notable contributions to Ch...  more »
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  • Beautifully kept park-like cemetary with a veritable who-is-who of Chicago history. Great guided tours to the most interesting grave sites both from the artistic as well as the historical point of view are available at different times sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Foundation, the Chicago Historical Society, and neighborhood historical societies.
  • It's a cemetery so it's an understandably quiet place. You can walk in free of charge during operating hours. Come here on a beautiful sunny day and enjoy the majestic monuments of the city's founding fathers. There's lots of grand, over the top, gilded age funerary monuments here. It certainly helps to know some Chicago history. Otherwise you may walk right by the relatively humble gravestones for Louis Sullivan and Allan Pinkerton. Graceland is definitely worth exploring.
  • This cemetery is so amazing! It's one of my favorite to visit. Full of awesome stories!
  • Wow. The grand-daddy of Chicagoland cemeteries. See a major street in Chicago? The namesake is probably buried here. There are monuments and mausoleums that cost more than most people make in a lifetime. Freud would have a ball here.
  • Beautiful cemetery, rich in history. I find it's especially lovely to walk around in the fall.

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