WBEZ | Oak Woods Cemetery http://www.wbez.org/tags/oak-woods-cemetery Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Oak Woods Cemetery http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-11/oak-woods-cemetery-where-design-and-planning-are-eternal-affairs-103788 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-482.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 592px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">For decades, a concrete wall topped by barbed wire has surrounded Oak Woods Cemetery.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But behind the heavy, gray barrier is one of the most striking urban spaces in Chicago: 183 acres of gentle lawns, winding lanes and a quartet of lakes, all planned with order and beauty--not to mention fancy mausoleums and monuments ranging from Greek Revival to Art Nouveau and beyond. The North Side&#39;s historic Graceland and Rosehill cemeteries get all the attention, but Oak Woods, located on the South Side at 67th and Greenwood, is right there with them.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Created in 1853, Oak Woods belongs to a first generation of high-quality cemeteries that sought to take the burial experience beyond cramped graveyards and creepy boneyards, instead allowing loved ones to be laid to rest in well-designed, park-like spaces with trees, museum-quality statuary, rolling lawns and landscaping. Oak Woods was designed by landscape architect Adolph Strauch whose <a href="http://www.springgrove.org/spring-grove-cemetery.aspx">Spring Grove Cemetery</a>, designed in 1844, gave birth to this movement.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">And now a look around Oak Woods, beginning at the shore of Symphony Lake, looking north:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-586.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 345px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Daniel Van DeGrift rests in a sarcophagus inside of a replica Greek Temple not unlike the one Palmer and Bertha Honore Palmer<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lamwolfe/4136413026/"> were placed in</a> at Graceland Cemetery:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-527.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 373px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The small Jewish cemetery within Oak Woods needs a little more care, though. Located on the south edge of Oak Woods near 71st Street, there are a few leaning monuments and some overgrown grass.The old cemetery-within-a-cemetery looks forgotten. But judging by the dried flower taped to the face of the marker in the photo below, someone remembers:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-291.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 420px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Here&#39;s another marker from Jewish Oak Woods:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-297.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 457px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Outside of the Jewish section, I spotted what looks to be headstone that doubles as a bench. The stone is carved to resemble the texture of a tree. I like this:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-154.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 458px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">I bet there is a pretty good story here:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-104.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 374px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The Woodward family monument from the late 1800s is a powerful expression in Art Nouveau:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-555.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 466px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">But no expression is more powerful than the sentiments expressed here:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-357.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 458px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">There are more than 200,000 people buried in Oak Woods. The list of luminaries seems endless: Jesse Owens; Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first commissioner of baseball; Chicago gangster Big Jim Colisimo; mobster Jake &quot;Greasy Thumb&quot; Guzik; journalist and activist Ida B. Wells; and a set of Chicago mayors including Harold Washington and his successor, Eugene Sawyer. Not to mention the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/confederate-burial-ground-chicago-yes-and-its-getting-makeover">largest Confederate burial ground </a>in the north, where a reported 6000 sons of the South rest.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The cemetery marks the 160th year of its founding in 2013.</div></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 12 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-11/oak-woods-cemetery-where-design-and-planning-are-eternal-affairs-103788