Historic Glenwood Cemetery Redo in 150th Year

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – The next phase of Glenwood Cemetery’s ongoing transformation breaks ground in early November on a 14,000 SF multi-use facility for receptions; archives and genealogy research and education; and daily operations – plus something long-needed: parking.

The Center for Glenwood Cemetery project’s site is on the northeast edge of the cemetery and is adjacent to a 1.5-acre lake completed three years ago as a water feature and irrigation resource for the 88-acre property. Previous phases of the project moved maintenance functions to a new 13,000 SF facility and dealt with utilities.

Founded in 1871 on the edge of Houston’s footprint of the time, Glenwood’s garden style cemetery was a final resting place as well as a peaceful recreation destination in an era predating public parks, its historical narratives explain.

While the revered cemetery has expanded over time, it has retained the winding roads, live oaks and woodsy ravines of its origins. Headstones, statuary and sculptures display names from 150 years of city history as well as those lost to time.

A $15 million capital campaign, launched in 2017, is funding the improvements, which Executive Director Richard Arbus – and project materials — called “transformative” as the cemetery observes its 150thyear of operations.

The new building, by Dillon Kyle Architects, has a clean, minimalist design with full height window walls that frame sweeping views across the cemetery. The floor plan incorporates a central lobby for gatherings, outdoor terrace, office space, kitchen, and archival facilities.

Interestingly, one of the functions the new venue can accommodate will be weddings. Arbus said the office gets inquiries all the time about that use.

The fate of the 1888 cottage that has functioned as the cemetery office is not yet determined.

Included in the project’s scope is a new entrance off Washington Avenue. That means there no longer will be a need to pray before exiting into the Washington Corridor, Arbus wryly noted.

During the center’s 14 months of construction, the cemetery’s original wrought-iron entrance at 2525 Washington Ave. will be closed and a temporary access point provided on Kane Street, he said.

The cemetery’s building relocations and placement of new facilities have created another 2.5 acres of burial space, Arbus said, some with spectacular views of Houston’s skyline.

Oct. 22, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021

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