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Graceland Cemetery   June 18, 2017
Chicago Architectural Foundation Tour

Graceland was created as a "cemetery park," and was intended to have only ground-level memorials so that it would serve as a park, open spaces in Chicago being rare in the nineteenth century. That was not the case indefinitely, and eventually Graceland became home to many splendid memorials and gravestones for the famous and the wealthy.


We saw memorials to the following:
Dexter Graves (early settler)
Victor Lawson (newspaper owner)
Jack Johnson (heavyweight boxing champion)
William Goodman (merchant, founder of Goodman Theater)
John Kenzie (below)
William Kimball
Potter Palmer (merchant)
George Pullman (railroad tycoon)

Kinzie (1763-1828),
early Chicago settler and entrepreneur

John Wellborn Root (Danial Burnham's partner in planning)
Martin Ryerson (lumber merchant)
Peter Schoenhofen (brewer)
Louis Sullivan (architect)

Seeing the above, you might well ask about the women buried here. In the tour we took (we stayed only for the first half), we didn't hear about any except women married to famous men (e.g., Potter Palmer's wife and her family, the Honorés). The Chicago Architectural Foundation has a separate tour about them. That might not be the best idea, in my view, if it mean that in an hour of visiting graves and monuments one does not hear about women of note. We did not hear about influential and wealthy women have been buried in Graceland; maybe the came up in the part that we missed.

 

 

John Wellborn Root (1850-1891)

Root was the parter of Daniel Burnham and a founder of the Chicago Style, along with
Burnham, Louis Sullivan, and Dankmar Adler. Note the architectural detail in the middle of the cross (arch, radiating lines).


Louis Sullivan, Chicago architect
 

Martin Ryerson (1818-1887), lumber merchant, a memorial designed by Louis Sullivan
 
Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson The first black heavyweight champion of the world;
his signature is on the back of his stone, next to the grave of hiswife Etta.

Potter Palmer
 
Across the way from the Greek Palmer tombs are the Gothic tombs of his wife's family, the Honorés

George Pullman
 
Another great Chicago name, remembered on our tour only as a strike-breaker.
William Kimball
William Kimball, manufacturer of pianos and organs. We saw the Kimball house on our Glessner Museum walking tour a week earlier. (See this link).
 


William Goodman
William Goodman family memorial, built after Kenneth Goodman (at 35) died of influenza in 1918. The quotation is from
the Song of Songs 2:17: "Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense."
 

Some memorials evoke other art forms and eras, such as the Pyramids, complete with sphinx, this one accompanied by an angel, and stained glass.
The pyramid is the tomb of the German brewer Peter Schoenhofen
 
Bas relief (bronze)
  On the left, one of the most expressive memorials we saw.


Two striking sculptures by Lorado Taft
The burial place of Dexter Graves (1789-1844), early Chicago settler. "Eternal Silence" is one of the celebrated icons of Graceland.
 
Below, the grave of Chicago newspaperman Victor Lawson (1850-1925; Chicago Daily News),
an work reminiscent of Lorado Taft's "The Fountain of Time" (for which see this link).
 
We ran out of time and energy long before we would have run out of graves and memorials!