Graveyard enthusiasts, known as taphophiles, have been promoting the cultural and other aspects of cemeteries at a time when many of the institutions are running out of space and looking to rebrand themselves. Some, like Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and The Evergreens, have formed historical foundations to raise money to fund cultural programs.
“People mentally have a picture of a cemetery as stark and boring,” said Marge Raymond, a Brooklyn singer. Raymond and Ruth Edebohls conduct tours at Green-Wood, where former governor DeWitt Clinton and composer Leonard Bernstein are buried.
When Raymond first visited Green-Wood years ago on a bird-watching outing, she fell in love with its 478 acres of rolling, glacier-sculpted hills, 7,000 or so trees and the amazing architecture of the mausoleums and tombstones ….