Preservation and the Annual Fund at Mount Auburn
2015 has been an incredibly productive year at Mount Auburn, with exciting projects being undertaken across our different departments to continue making the Cemetery a welcoming and inspiring place for everyone. Our preservation and facilities staff members have been a particularly visible example this year, overseeing the significant restoration work being done on our Egyptian Revival Gateway and all of the other front entry precinct improvements that are currently in-progress. In addition, they have remained busy conserving and maintaining the monuments and structures throughout the Cemetery, ensuring that Mount Auburn’s rich collections remain in good condition for years to come.
That productivity and high-level work on so many levels illustrate the impact of the generosity of our Annual Fund supporters. Unrestricted gifts for our general operating budget have provided the resources that all of our staff, including our preservation and facilities team, need for the incredible variety of work – both public and behind-the-scenes – required for Mount Auburn to fulfill its mission every day.
In the case of preservation and facilities, the budget from our Annual Fund has allowed for increased productivity through hiring contractors and additional seasonal workers and interns to enhance the team and accomplish as much as possible while the weather permits outdoor projects. Thanks to the help of our summer intern, we were able to reset a monument to a Revolutionary war veteran with a large marble headstone that had long ago been laid down because the base was unstable, and was therefore almost buried under debris and built-up soil. Now that we have reset it upright, the entire inscribed text can be read once again.
Another one of our recent accomplishments was the repair of the historic wrought iron fence surrounding the Lowell lot on Willow Avenue. Although cast iron fences surrounding individual lots had been extremely popular up through the mid-nineteenth century, they eventually went out of fashion and were removed in large numbers starting in the 1870s. Today, the elegant Lowell fence is one of only a few examples of that historic trend remaining in Mount Auburn. As part of the repair process, the front section of the fence was removed and restored at a contractor’s shop, where the paint was stripped off and broken pickets and missing finials were fixed before the entire section was recoated with primer and paint. Meanwhile, the remaining three sides also had missing finials cast and attached and broken pickets repaired as necessary. The gate, which had been in storage, was repaired and re-installed as well. As the accompanying photographs illustrate, the full project has made a striking difference for the entire lot!
These are just a few of the many examples of the work made possible by our generous Annual Fund donors. We are grateful to everyone who has given to us, and we hope you will consider renewing your support of the Friends of Mount Auburn before the end of the year to ensure our continued success as we look ahead to 2016.
You can make your tax-deductible donation online, or mail a check to the Friends of Mount Auburn at 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Thank you for your support!