Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends A Landscape of Remembrance and Reflection - Page 14

Looking Back Thirty Years: Craig Halvorson and the Evolution of Mount Auburn’s Landscape By Anna Moir Grants & Communications Manager I n 1990, landscape architect Craig Halvorson first came to Mount Auburn with his team at Halvorson Design Partnership, tasked with creating a comprehensive master plan for the Cemetery. This began a relationship with Mount Auburn that has fundamentally shaped our landscape up to the present day. The master plan itself has guided everything Mount Auburn has since become. Over the years, Craig has worked with us on numerous projects that implement the plan, such that his influence can now be found all around the Cemetery. The master plan, published in 1993, was commissioned by then-President Bill Clendaniel and the Board of Trustees to address a critical need for new business and landscape approaches at the Cemetery. Today, it can be easy to take for granted so many of Mount Auburn’s recent successes: it is widely regarded as a leader in burial practices, horticulture, and sustainable, habitat-friendly landscape design, and it is predicted to remain an active cemetery with plenty of burial space remaining for decades to come. However, it was a very different story in the early 1990s. At the time, the Cemetery projected that if it maintained its existing practices it would run out of burial space within ten years, a predicament that had to be balanced with the priority of preserving and improving the nationally significant landscape. Over several years of studying the site and its history, Craig and his team put together a detailed series of recommendations for recapturing the Cemetery’s early design and character, along with new models for incorporating burial space while simultaneously enhancing the historic landscape. 12