Hollywood Forever Cemetery, final resting place of stars such as Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney and Burt Reynolds, is now a historical and cultural monument.
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously this week to grant designation to the 123-year-old cemetery, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999. An architectural historian who prepared a report on the city cemetery found that it “illustrates significant contributions to broader cultural, economic, or social history”.
“It really is a special place on so many levels, both in terms of architecture and landscape, but also in terms of the history that has helped develop this place,” said Heather Goers, author of the report. list.
Some buildings and landscape features at the cemetery, which opened in 1899, date back to 1903, according to the report. The report recommended that the cemetery receive the designation because of its association with “the early development of Hollywood…the development of the cemetery industry in Los Angeles, and…the development of Jewish burial facilities in Los Angeles.”
City council members and local officials welcomed the decision.
“It’s a long time coming and well deserved for this incredibly historic site that has grown from not just a place of rest, but a place of entertainment and a public square that can be enjoyed by so many of the Los Angeles audience,” Brian Curran, president of the Hollywood Heritage Museum, said during a meeting.
The 53-acre property, considered by some to be one of most emblematic cemeteries in the world, also serves as a public gathering place, with visitors coming to the site to watch film screenings, do yoga, and wander among the elaborate ponds and mausoleums.
Besides the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the cemetery also housed colonies of wild catsthat can be seen resting on tombstones and near mausoleums.