Hochul Governor Announces Groundbreaking for $34 Million Education and Welcoming Center at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the laying of the cornerstone for a $34 million education and welcome center at Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Established in 1838, Green-Wood Cemetery is one of the earliest rural cemeteries in the United States and is the final resting place of many notable figures and a popular destination for tourists from around the world. To promote the Cemetery’s history to a wider audience, the Green-Wood Historical Fund will build a 22,000-square-foot Education and Welcome Center to enhance the visitor experience with information about the Cemetery’s history, architecture and natural environment. Construction of the new facility is supported by $4.1 million in funding from the State of New York, including $2 million from the New York State Council on the Arts, $1.5 million from Empire State Development, and $600,000 from the state legislature.

“Green-Wood Cemetery is a unique urban oasis and historical treasure trove” said Governor Hochul. “The new Education and Welcome Center will help unlock this treasure for visitors and further enhance Green-Wood’s role as New York’s iconic cultural institution. Preserving this landmark is critical to our understanding of the past, our appreciation of the present, and our vision for the future.”

Green-Wood Cemetery is a National Historic Landmark that covers 478 acres and is designed as a park-like landscape, offering visitors a peaceful and picturesque setting in which to pay their respects. Visitors can admire the peaceful natural landscape of the Cemetery and meet its 570,000 permanent residents, including Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Susan McKinney Steward, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lola Montez, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Generals civil war, baseball legends, politicians, entertainers, entertainers and inventors.

The new Education and Welcome Center will be the first stop for visitors to discover and learn about Green-Wood. The ADA compliant, LEED and Gold certified building will be designed in an L shape flanking two sides of the historic Weir Greenhouse with expansive views of Richard Upjohn’s cemetery and main entrance arch. The Center will house exhibition galleries for Green-Wood’s extensive art and archival collections; didactic and programming space; New Green-Wood Research Centre; staff offices; and a meeting and event venue for local community organizations.

The new Center will serve as a hub for education and community engagement, allowing visitors to learn about the importance of Green-Wood Cemetery to the region’s cultural and natural history. With interactive shows, exhibitions and engaging programs, the Center will provide visitors with a dynamic and immersive experience that will inspire a deeper appreciation of this extraordinary place.

Executive Director of the New York State Council for the Arts, Mara Manus, said: “This new learning and welcome center will uplift the incredible history of Green-Wood Cemetery and pave an exciting path for its future by expanding the arts programs for visitors from across the country and around the world. NYSCA is proud to donate $2 million to support this important project that will greatly enhance Green-Wood as a cultural treasure we can collect, inspire, reflect on and learn from.”

said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight“Green-Wood Cemetery is at the core of Brooklyn’s history and identity, and we are honoring its legacy by erecting the cornerstone for the new Education and Welcoming Center. With an immersive experience that breathes life into the stories of the past, the Center will inspire visitors and testify to the enduring importance of Green-Wood, both now and for generations to come.”

State Senator Iwen Chu said: “I am excited to open the Greenwood Education and Welcome Center as a resource for families and communities across Brooklyn. Children and school groups will have access to exhibition galleries, classrooms and a multi-purpose space in the greenhouse. Greenwood’s educational programs and diverse outreach community will have a new home. Thank you Governor Kathy Hochul and all partners for creating this important community space. I look forward to seeing local families and groups visit and take advantage of this center.”

New York City Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Laurie Cumbo said: “Green-Wood Cemetery is not only the permanent home of so many of our city’s historic luminaries, it is also a nature reserve, arts center and educational institution rolled into one. With the creation of this new Education and Welcome Center, Green-Wood will be able to welcome even more visitors to see its one-of-a-kind grounds and programs. On behalf of all New Yorkers, we’re proud to be able to secure the city’s significant investment in this exciting project.”

– said the president of Green-Wood Cemetery, Richard J. Moylan“We thank Governor Hochul and the administration for their support as we begin a new chapter in Green-Wood’s great history. Establishing our leadership in so many disciplines and an anchor in this vibrant community, it’s only fitting that our neighbors and visitors have a state-of-the-art and friendly Center where they can enhance their Green-Wood experience all year round. We are especially excited that our new Center will serve all New Yorkers and visitors, but especially our neighbors in Brooklyn.”

Co-chairs of the New York Regional Economic Development Council, Winston Fisher, partner at Fisher Brothers, and Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Chancellor of the City University of New York, said: “Green-Wood Cemetery is a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of our vibrant city. The Education and Welcome Center is an exciting project for Green-Wood and represents another chapter in an important step towards preserving and promoting the rich history of this remarkable site.”

Located in the heart of New York City, Green-Wood Cemetery is a unique place that is visited by 450,000 visitors every year. Its historic significance, breathtaking scenery and immersive programming make it a captivating attraction for national and international visitors. Since 1997, the Green-Wood Historical Fund has been working to preserve the rich history, architecture and natural beauty of the cemetery. The fund organizes public events, including themed walking and trolleybus tours, art installations and special seasonal events. As Green-Wood Cemetery continues to preserve and promote its rich heritage, it will remain a Brooklyn landmark that attracts visitors, creates and supports jobs, and contributes to New York City’s vibrant economy.

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