For one of NYC’s oldest and landmarked graveyards and basilicas, HMWhite developed a landscape master plan that was organized around the design and delicate siting of the custom-designed columbaria. Various revenue-generating memorial prototypes were explored and tested to determine the graveyard’s carry-capacity for new monument “development.”  The significance of each monument, landmarked brick walls, landscape materials and trees were appropriately assessed to establish a comprehensive landscape design vision that celebrates and accentuates the past, while refreshing the graveyard’s current day use and image. Size, scale, proportion, orientation and layout of the proposed columbaria became the driving force in reconciling graveyard development and historic landscape restoration. A systematic phased plan to earn revenue from the columbarium sales was intended to gradually restore the graveyard’s historic landscape.   

A minimalistic geometric composition of permeable crushed stone paths and bluestone pavers were introduced to organize the ground plane. New stone surfaces deliberately control movement, leaving the balance of the landscape to be filled with low maintenance short woodland sedges and flowering perennials. New and old monuments will be showcased against the robust texture of this unifying sedge carpet. The organizational contrast of a simple network of planted and stone surfaces will bring higher visibility to the random and organic collection of aged stone monuments.

St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

New York, New York


The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral

Design Team:

Landscape Architect: HMWhite
Architect: Acheson Doyle & Partners
Arborist/Foodweb Soil Specialist: Ecological Landscape Management
Lighting Designer: Kugler Ning Light Design

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