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Governor Hochul Announces Groundbreaking of the Green-Wood Cemetery's $34 Million Education and Welcome Center in Brooklyn

Project Supported by $4.1 Million in State Grants

New Center Will Offer Visitors Information on Cemetery's History and Support Preservation Efforts

Renderings Available Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the groundbreaking of the Green-Wood Cemetery's $34 million Education and Welcome Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Founded in 1838, the Green-Wood Cemetery is one of the earliest rural cemeteries in the United States and is the final resting place for many notable figures and a popular destination for visitors from around the world. To promote the Cemetery's history to the broader public, the Green-Wood Historic Fund will construct 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 New York State, 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. 

"The Green-Wood Cemetery is a unique urban oasis and a treasure trove of historical significance," Governor Hochul said. "The new Education and Welcome Center will help to unlock that treasure for visitors and further reinforce Green-Wood's role as an iconic New York cultural institution. The preservation of this landmark is crucial to our understanding of the past, our appreciation of the present, and our vision for the future." 

The Green-Wood Cemetery is a National Historic Landmark that spans 478 acres and was designed as a park-like landscape, offering visitors a tranquil and picturesque environment to pay their respects. Visitors can enjoy the Cemetery's serene natural landscape and learn of 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, Civil War generals, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers, and inventors. 

The new Education and Welcome Center will serve as the first stop for visitors to discover and explore Green-Wood. The ADA-compliant, LEED, Gold-certified building will be designed as an L-shape, surrounding two sides of the historic Weir Greenhouse with expansive views towards the Cemetery and the Richard Upjohn Main Entrance Arch. The Center will house exhibition galleries for Green-Wood's extensive art and archival collections; classroom and programming space; Green-Wood's new Center for Research; staff offices; and meeting and event space for local community organizations.   

The new Center will serve as a hub for education and community engagement, enabling visitors to learn about The Green-Wood Cemetery's significance in the region's cultural and natural history. Through interactive displays, exhibitions, and engaging programs, the Center will provide visitors with a dynamic and immersive experience that will inspire a deeper appreciation for this extraordinary site. 

New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus said, "This new Education and Welcome center will uplift the incredible history of Green-Wood Cemetery and chart an exciting path for its future through the expansion of arts programming for visitors from across the country and around the world. NYSCA is proud to provide $2 million in support of this vital project, that will greatly enhance Green-Wood as a cultural treasure for us to gather, find inspiration, reflect, and learn." 

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The Green-Wood Cemetery is core to the history and identity of Brooklyn, and we honor its legacy with the groundbreaking of the new Education and Welcome Center. With an immersive experience that will breathe life into the stories of the past, the Center will inspire visitors and attest to Green-Wood's enduring importance, both now and for generations to come." 

Read the full press release here.