Graceland Cemetery Prototype Landscape Restoration
Trustees of Graceland Cemetery
Subsequent to the Restoration Plan prepared for the cemetery by the architect and Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc., the Trustees of Graceland directed the landscape architect to document and design a four-acre “prototype” landscape restoration. The purpose of the project was to explore the cost and feasibility of landscape restoration in the cemetery. Issues included the ability to prepare adequate restoration plans based on available materials (drawings, photographs, etc.); installation issues and cost; maintenance issues and cost; appearance over an extended period of time; and security, both actual and perceived. Improvements include tree, shrub, groundcover, and perennial planting, which reintroduced color, variety, and a sense of enclosure to the cemetery; topsoil placement around headstones, in order to return them to flush with the ground; and monument restoration (nine monuments have been restored since 1992, when initial work on the prototype area was completed.
Cost of the topsoil filling, grading, seeding, and landscape planting was approximately $45,000 (a little more then $11,000 per acre, or less than $0.25 per square foot), which is an extremely low and cost effective price for landscape work. Graceland Cemetery received an Illinois Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award in 2001.