Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn A Modern Vision for an Historic Cemetery - Page 5

Bigelow Chapel, which reopens this fall following an ambitious revitalization project, will offer a much- improved facility to meet the expectations of today’s families and clients (see previous issue of Sweet Auburn for more information). With the Chapel’s new addition, which offers sweeping views of the surrounding landscape including the renovated Asa Gray Garden, we envision Bigelow becoming an increasingly popular destination for memorial services, receptions, coffee and tea services, and other private functions. Traditionally, those seeking to use Mount Auburn’s chapels have been families who planned a burial at the Cemetery or who have made use of Mount Auburn’s Crematory. In the future, we anticipate more families—even those with no other connections to the Cemetery—coming to Mount Auburn specifically to utilize its impressive nondenominational facilities. We invite you to experience this new space at one of the public programs this fall that will celebrate the revitalized Chapel (see back cover for upcoming events). …inspiring all who visit… Thanks to modern technology, remembering and preserving the memories of those now buried at the Cemetery has new meaning. This spring, Mount Auburn unveiled its new Online Memorial Pages, a service offered through its website that collects and shares the stories of those buried at the Cemetery. Also tied to our mobile app, these memorial pages will allow visitors and family members alike to learn more about those buried at the Cemetery while visiting Mount Auburn both physically and virtually. We are excited to offer this service not only to our current families, who may use this tool to curate stories of loved ones as part of their grieving process, but also to the descendants of those who have been buried at Mount Auburn for generations. As the pages for those buried at Mount Auburn throughout its history become populated, we will have an interactive resource that preserves and celebrates the more than 100,000 lives that now make up Mount Auburn’s community of the dead. Learn more about our new memorial pages on pages 6–7. On some level, contemporary burial and commemora- tion practices may seem far removed from what the Cemetery’s founders envisioned. But our present-day practices are very much in keeping with the spirit that has guided Mount Auburn since its founding. We are confident that the generations who have stewarded this cherished space since its start would be delighted that 100,000 burials and 187 years later, Mount Auburn remains a vital and relevant resource for the living with an exciting future yet to come. Looking Ahead Our need to evolve as an active Cemetery is about more than honoring our founders’ vision that Mount Auburn be the place of burial and commemoration for the citizens of Greater Boston (and beyond). The revenue we generate today from the sale of burial space and the provision of Cemetery Services is what ensures Mount Auburn’s future as a financially sustainable institution that is able to continue caring for this beloved landscape with the highest of standards. Over the next decade, fees from cremations, facilities rentals, and cemetery services will become a much more significant percentage of Mount Auburn’s annual earned revenue. The sale of new burial space (78% of which is allocated to Mount Auburn’s endowment) continues to be important, but it is a revenue with more modest growth, as the Cemetery carefully controls the development of new burial space to protect the historic and aesthetic qualities of its landscape. Cemetery Sales Cremation Services Ancillary Cemetery Services Facility Rentals 2018 Volume 1i | 3