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thehauntedriver t1_jaduxlx wrote

I was fascinated with this place years ago and made several YouTube videos when the old mausoleum was open (human bones everywhere). I ran into one guy trying to clean the place up and I knew he was fighting a losing battle.

It would take some serious money to clean it up and I don’t think anyone will ever come through on it. What will end up happening? No idea but there are graves literally all throughout the woods and up and down the hills. Probably some they aren’t even aware of!


VCUBNFO t1_jad5aio wrote

Cemeteries are stupid.

Permanent cemeteries are a weird American thing.

The living need housing more than the dead. The land would be better used for housing.


cow-island t1_jadejm9 wrote

This cemetery is unique, created by black richmonders in the late 1800s who were segregated from white cemeteries. There’s a lot of history there, and a lot of people in this community have worked hard to uncover it, as the city has left it neglected. It would be a slap in the face to this community to pave it over for an apartment complex


plummbob t1_jadjpkp wrote

> It would be a slap in the face to this community to pave it over for an apartment complex



don't we have a housing shortage? isn't that housing shortage felt most acutely on people akin to this community? isn't that shortage caused by historical land-use segregation that resulted in widespread inequities that are preserved still to this day?


wenkexiette t1_jads6x5 wrote

we have more than enough space unoccupied by historic black cemeteries, including buildings that could be renovated or torn down. preserving this cemetery would NOT be the way to go to rectify the inequality caused by segregation - it would be hiding those horrors.


Danger-Moose t1_jae2pf1 wrote

Would you make this comment about Hollywood Cemetery?


plummbob t1_jae4jeo wrote

I live within in walking distance of Maury Cemetery, and if the city decided to bulldoze that place, and zone if for mixed use, sprinkle in some subsidized units for good luck.... I wouldn't shed a tear.


And neither would the general market, because its not like proximity to the cemetery and its, I assume important historical value, is doing much for value of land of the surrounding area.


Danger-Moose t1_jae4mpj wrote

You didn't answer the question.


plummbob t1_jae5vjm wrote

They're equivalent to me. Preserve whatever specific plots you want, like James Monroe, or whoever. Allow people to build up around it.


Or don't. The guy is dead. Its not like he'd care.


Danger-Moose t1_jaed5zm wrote

> Preserve whatever specific plots you want, like James Monroe, or whoever. Allow people to build up around it.

I'm imagining the presidents' tombs completely surrounded by ugly condos.


plummbob t1_jaeeh4e wrote

I love the thought of a huge housing development surrounding the grave of a slave owning president who thought that black people just couldn't assimilate if freed.


raindeerpie t1_jadxjmg wrote

we have plenty of land and having large green spaces in cities is important. especially when housing density increases. you sound like the type of person who wants to develop central park.


plummbob t1_jadzree wrote

I don't think a cementary is a usable green space that is even remotely analogous to a park


goodsam2 t1_jae0ufw wrote

It was in prior contexts, Hollywood cemetery is kinda supposed to be used as a park.


latesaturate t1_jae9xeu wrote

I think Hollywood Cemetery is a perfect example of a cemetery that is usable green space/a park


raindeerpie t1_jaeauey wrote

Hollywood is great for walks and jogging through. but you're right. typically a cemetery is not a super usable space and not a great comparison to a park. but it can still provide a good aesthetic, a home for wildlife, and a somewhat peaceful break to a city scape.


plummbob t1_jaedlcz wrote

If we exhumed every corpse from there, got rid of the gravestones but retained some built structures, and named the area "cool nice place park" the benefits would be the same --- This has everything to do with how its designed environment, and nothing to do with the fact that dead people lay there.

Compare Maury cemetary to Hollywood.Or compare Hollywood to the cementary literally right next to it. Hollywood is nice because its got all the things a good park has --- a built environment, trees and shade, and easy proximity to amenities.

Whereas Maury is next to nothing, has zero trees and shade, and effectively no built environment. Riverview Cemetery has 1 of the 3 things.....similar proximity to actual social life, but lacks any trees and built environment.


The lesson is that cemetery's can be good parks, if they're designed like good parks.



There ain't nobody going for a stroll around Maury Cemetery, or playing football with their kid or whatever.


TheCheeseDevil t1_jaebu4w wrote

the city already paved over TWO historic Black cemeteries, you're arguing to make it three?


pchnboo t1_jadszd2 wrote

What do you mean with this comment?


WhalerBum t1_jad6sid wrote

Permanent cemeteries are a weird American thing? That’s hilarious. There’s absolutely no way you’re that dull.


goodsam2 t1_jad91hg wrote

Cemeteries in most other countries actually operate differently. Basically you bury a person then after like 100+ years they would then move the body to a crypt. The new spot would then be paid for by someone to bury them. Therefore having a plausible working model of how to continue maintenance on the grave.

American cemeteries don't do this and so when the cemetery becomes full they basically run out of money and someone who is not and will never be buried there needs to upkeep it.

Edit: I think American cemeteries do some investments to keep it updated from the grave spot.


Cactuscouch757 t1_jadqxag wrote

Yeah this isn't really accurate. Cemeteries regularly disenter bodies of people who don't pay. They will send letters to next of kin and dig you up once no one answers. They then resell the plot. They even double stack caskets in some cases. Some cemeteries(hollywood) have perpetuity funds/investments, evergreen did not. You can still buy a plot in Hollywood today, it's most likely a used lot.

I still think burial grounds are the worst possible use of riverfront downtown land.


Ditovontease t1_jadvz5l wrote

I mean at least Hollywood is open to the public so that you can actually enjoy the river (when I lived in the fan I’d go there to read by the river). If it were private apartments instead only rich fucks get to.


gleepgloopgleepgloop t1_jadujci wrote

They do investing but there's no guarantee that the investments will pay off or won't be grifted at some point.


VCUBNFO t1_jad8tzi wrote

In Europe being buried in a cemetery is falling out of fashion.

Even for when it is, it is often the case they exhume old bodies to bury new ones.

What is the point of permanent graves?


Danger-Moose t1_jad9do5 wrote

> In Europe being buried in a cemetery is falling out of fashion.

The US, too. What does that have to do with a historic cemetery?


VCUBNFO t1_jadawgf wrote

> the final resting places of some of the city's most prominent residents, including Maggie Walker and John Mitchell.

I should have read the article, huh. It housing Maggie Walker certainly warrants more consideration.

I'd rather see that as a monument though. I think it would be better to exhume her and put her on Monument Ave or where AP Hill was, with a corresponding monument.


Danger-Moose t1_jadbb5p wrote

She already has a monument at her grave site, and another monument where she lived in Jackson Ward. I'm in favor of leaving her where she actually, you know, wanted to be and not using her bones as some weird talisman to be showcased.


VCUBNFO t1_jadbu2f wrote

>not using her bones as some weird talisman to be showcased.

That's functionally what keeping the historic cemetery is.


Danger-Moose t1_jadi3xw wrote

At least that doesn't involve trotting them out to display in a largely white neighborhood.


WhalerBum t1_jadb58f wrote

No one’s asking to build a new cemetery to make room for new bodies. I don’t see how your point has anything to do with preserving a historic cemetery.


goodsam2 t1_jadck5c wrote

The old cemetery without new people has no money.

I think American cemeteries would get more money early on invest it and live off what was invested which if it failed then the grave runs out of money.

Like 08 crash and then now the graveyard can't mow the lawn but once a month.


localheroism t1_jadcqju wrote

I think it's good to have a physical space dedicated to grieving loved ones if they so choose but I think there are better ways to go about it.