Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn Community, Conservation & Citizen Science - Page 23

Caroline’s Path By Melissa Banta, Mount Auburn Cemetery Historical Collections Consultant Mount Auburn is pleased to celebrate the completion of Caroline’s Path, connecting Story Chapel to Asa Gray Garden. Funded by a generous donation from the Caroline Loughlin Fund of Vanguard Charitable, the path is dedicated to the memory of Loughlin, a devoted volunteer, supporter, and trustee of Mount Auburn Cemetery. Designed by Craig Halvorson and the landscape architects of Halvorson Design Partnership, the pathway represents the first phase of the renovation of Asa Gray Garden. This larger project has involved researching primary documents in the Cemetery’s Historical Collections Department to inform the contemporary design. It is thus closely allied with the interests of Caroline, who volunteered in the historical collections for 13 years. Starting at the steps of Story Chapel, a granite intersection leads across the street to the begin- ning of the path. Here, visitors find a low, granite bench inlaid with wood. Semicircular in shape, the inviting bench looks as though it had always been situated in front of the large European beech tree across from the Chapel. “Craig Halvorson’s work always strives to be about Mount Auburn and to feel like it belongs, the genus loci, of and from this place,” observes Ricardo Austrich, senior associate at Halvorson Design. The path gracefully wends its way down a sloping retaining wall, which blends harmoniously into the lawn. Following the curve of the road, it gradually ends at a smaller bench with “Caroline’s Path” engraved in a panel on the wall. From this vantage point, visitors can look into Asa Gray Garden, another elegant, elliptical form within the Cemetery landscape. The path, described by Austrich as a “quietly seamless and artful transition space,” serves as a welcoming threshold into the entryway of Mount Auburn. “In many ways, the path fulfills a need we didn’t realize we had, and you can’t imagine it not being here now,” explains Curator of Historical Collections Meg Winslow. “Caroline would be happy to know her path has become a central meeting area for those gathering together to further explore the Cemetery grounds.” 2017 Volume 2 | 21