General View of Laurel Hill Cemetery


In the 1830s, a group of influential Philadelphians wanted to establish a rural cemetery that would be naturalistic, serene, and in genteel seclusion. They settled on Laurel Hill at 3822 Ridge Avenue, the former estate of merchant Joseph Sims, which had rocky bluffs and spectacular views and was about six kilometers from the city center. The cemetery was built in 1836–39 after the designs of Scottish-born architect and landscape designer John Notman. In the foreground, horse-drawn carriages approach the main gate (visible at left) of the cemetery, which contains tombs, monuments, and a Gothic-style chapel.Tombs, monuments, and a Gothic-style chapel line the landscape of the cemetery. The print also shows country residences on the hillsides rising in the background. The lithograph appeared as the frontispiece in the Guide to Laurel Hill Cemetery in 1847.

Last updated: January 8, 2018