Greenhouses Turn 40 Years Old

December 7, 2011

This year (2011) our current greenhouses turned 40 years old! On-site greenhouses have long been an important part of Mount Auburn’s operations, starting at a location between Mount Auburn and Brattle Streets.  After several additions at that site, the need grew for bigger and better greenhouses and in 1935 six new Lord and Burnham greenhouses encompassing 23,300 sq. ft. were built on a piece of land that Mount Auburn had purchased Northwest of Willow Pond (between current day Meadow and Field Roads). From there Mount Auburn produced most of its own plantings. Additionally, there was a nursery, stone crushing shed, and concrete mixing shed.

As more room was needed for burial space, the land that the Greenhouses stood on was the logical place to expand into. After discussions of whether to build new greenhouses or not it was decided that the “many benefits of propagating and rais­ing plants under Mount Auburn’s own control would be lost if new houses were not constructed” (Annual Report, 1971). So in the summer of 1971 smaller more efficient greenhouses were built at the current site and by the end of the year they were in operation. Forty years later they are still in use.

Since Mount Auburn’s inception as a Garden Cemetery, horticulture has been central to our mission. We continue to be creative and innovate in our care and enhancement of this historic landscape. As you may have read in Sweet Auburn, we are in the midst of planning new Greenhouses and a Horticulture Center for the future.

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