City Secrets

Where Are Famous People Buried in NYC Cemeteries?

December 11 2018 | Fê Paronetto
Curiosities City Secrets Famous People Buried in NYC Cemeteries Greenwood Brooklyn

New York is not only the home of famous celebrities and world-wide renowned names, but also the home of these people, after they pass away! So, where are famous people buried in NYC cemeteries?

New York has countless cemeteries ranging from huge one that you need a map to walk around, to smaller graveyards spread throughout Manhattan.

Today, I decided to show you two NYC cemeteries, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, that I think are not only beautiful, but that have some interesting people buried.

And, before I take you to these spots, be sure to subscribe to our channel, like the video and help spread the love our lovely, New York City!


Green-Wood Cemetery

Curiosities City Secrets Famous People Buried in NYC Cemeteries Greenwood Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein’s grave at Green-Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn. © Behind the Scenes NYC

The Green-Wood Cemetery was founded in 1838, and is one of New York’s National Historic Landmarks because of its beautiful landscape, architecture, art and history!

Years before it became a cemetery, it was even e revolutionary war historic site, where the Battle of Long Island was fought in 1776.

In it’s almost 500 acres, you can find largest outdoor collections of 19th and 20th century statuary and mausoleums. Today, it has over 560,000 permanent residents, and I’m going to show you, a few of the famous ones here!

The cemetery is so big that you can actually grab a map at the entrance to help you walk around inside.

Oh! And depending on the day of the week you go, you might bump into Lou. I met him on a Tuesday! He’s been volunteering for years at the small bookstand right by the entrance, and he’s the one to give you the maps. His knowledge of the cemetery’s history is amazing, all the stories, plus he can suggest how you might want to start your tour inside and point out some of the famous gravestones too! Lou is super polite, so do look for him!

If you’re still not sure about visiting, I highly encourage you to, especially because they have great self-guided tours, as well as public and private tours.

Here are some of the names of the famous gravestones I visited and some others that you might want to check out too:

  • Leonard Bernstein: Composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He led the New York Philharmonic in more than 1,200 performances and is very well-known for being the composer of the musical, ‘West Side Story’. That might ring a bell!
  • Samuel Morse: Creator of telegraph system, known as the Morse Code. There is a small replica by his grave;
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat: A super renowned contemporary artist that at a very young age, became internationally known. Unfortunately, he died of a heroin overdose at his art studio at the age of 27;
  • William Poole: AKA Bill the Butcher that was portrayed in Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” by Daniel Day-Lewis;
  • William Colgate: Yup! The founder of the Colgate empire. I’m sure you’ve already use at least one of his products.
  • DeWitt Clinton: Former US Senator, former Mayor of New York City and 6th Governor of New York. Was largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal. Remember your history class?

This is maybe one of my favorite must-go spots in Brooklyn that you’d never think about visiting. It’s a gorgeous cemetery, super peaceful and extremely well maintained. Truly a beauty!

And as I said above, they do have and private tours, but let us know if you need any help!

IMPORTANT: Just remember, be extremely respectful as soon as you walk inside, ok? There might be funeral services happening, as well as people visiting loved ones they’ve lost.

Hours: Green-Wood welcomes visitors at four entrances. Hours vary by season and by entrance. See details below.

Main Entrance (Fifth Avenue and 25th Street)
8am – 5pm – October 1st to March 31st, every day
7am – 7pm – April 1st to September 30th, every day

Sunset Park Entrance (Fourth Avenue and 35th Street)
8am – 4pm, every day

Fort Hamilton Parkway Entrance (Fort Hamilton Parkway and Micieli Place)
and Prospect Park West Entrance (9th Avenue and 20th Street)
8am – 4pm, on weekends and days of remembrance only*

*Good Friday, Memorial Day, September 11th, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, All Soul’s Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Location: 500 25th Street, Greenwood Heights in Brooklyn

www.green-wood.com


Trinity Church

Curiosities City Secrets Famous People Buried in NYC Cemeteries
Alexander Hamilton’s grave, right beside his wife, Elizabeth, at the Trinity Church Cemetery. © Behind the Scenes NYC

Trinity Church is one of the most well-known churches in New York, maybe because of it’s location, since it’s just steps from the World Trade Center.

As soon as you exit Wall Street’s 4 and 5 subway line (green line), you’ll immediately see people photographing the location. There’s no way to miss it!

It’s a historic Episcopal church & cemetery, dating back to 1697 and is the “home” of several very powerful names.

Here are some of these names:

  • Alexander Hamilton: Maybe the most famous name there. Hamilton is one of the 7 Founding Fathers of the United States. The other 6 are: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. He’s buried right beside his wife Elizabeth and yes, the Broadway musical is about him!
  • Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton: Alexander Hamilton’s wife. Her sister, Angelica, is also buried there.
  • John Jacob Astor IV: Remember we talked about him on our video about a super cool Underground Subway Tour? He’s part of renowned Astor family and was one of the passengers aboard the Titanic. During the tragedy, he remained behind after helping his pregnant wife board one of the lifeboats. His body was recovered a few weeks after the ship sank.
  • Robert Fulton: He was a great engineer and the creator of the 1st commercial steamboat, named The North River Steamboat of Clermonts, in 1807. That obviously gave birth to a new transportation modality, revolutionizing river traffic. This 1st boat’s trip started at the Hudson River, traveling a total of 300 miles to Albany and back. It took over 60 hours. He is also responsible for inventing the 1st submarine in history, the Nautilus and other great creations.

Hours:
Chapel of All Saints: Open daily, 7am – 6pm
Churchyard: Open daily, 7am – 6pm

Location: 75 Broadway

www.trinitywallstreet.org


New York has countless other cemeteries that, as we mentioned, are the home of some of the most powerful names in history, arts, music, politics, etc!

Below are a few more famous people buried in NYC cemeteries, you might want to take time to visit:

  • Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx: Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa; Miles Davis, American jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer; Irving Berlin, composer of music like God Bless America; Duke Ellington, legendary jazz composer; Mark Twin, author and humorist
  • Flushing Cemetery, Queens: Louis Armstrong, famous jazz trumpeter; Dizzy Gillespie, another king of the jazz trumpet, that we talk about during our video about vinyl and record stores in New York
  • Quaker Cemetery, Brooklyn: Hollywood actor Montgomery Clift buried at a private and secret spot
  • St. Raymond New Cemetery, Bronx: Billie Holiday, American jazz singer
  • Machpelah Cemetery, Queens: The one and only, Harry Houdini, the world-famous Magician
  • Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island: Martin Scorsese, the Hollywood film director
  • Fort Hill Cemetery, Auburn: Harriet Tubman, an American abolitionist, political activist and social reformer
  • Sleepy Hallow Cemetery, Sleepy Hallow: Andrew Carnegie, the renowned businessman, philanthropist and industrialist, founder of the Carnegie Hall
  • Salem Fields Cemetery, Brooklyn: Harry Winston, the talented American jeweler

As I said above, if you enjoyed this video, subscribe to our channel, like the video and share it with your friends and family!

Since you’re just a few steps from Industry City, be sure to visit in that area. From a sake-on-tap bar and chocolate stores, to design shops, hat designers and outdoor events, it’s a great spot to go.

Have fun!


Videography: Renata Meirelles
Photography: Renata Meirelles and © Behind the Scenes NYC
BeautyLeila Soldeira
StylingCamilla Adão

About Fê Paronetto

Fê is our Founder & CEO! She's Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC! She lives in Brooklyn since April of '15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!

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