Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn President Bill Clendaniel Retires | Page 7

that resembled a dry New England streambed “empty- ing” into a symbolic “pool” on Garden Avenue. She laid out winding paths surfaced with pine needles throughout the Knoll and carved individual spaces through the plant- ings to symbolically represent archetypal views. At Spruce Knoll cremated remains are placed directly into the earth, without containers, and names and dates of the deceased are engraved on a series of granite tablets arranged around the site’s exterior. “I call it a bit of New Hampshire on Mount Auburn Street,” Bill says, “and it’s been one of our most popular new sites.” Seeds of Career Bill grew up in Woodstock, Vermont, “in the country, away from the village,” the only child of outdoorsy parents who’d met on Appalachian Mountain Club hikes. He had Above: Bill with his parents in “acres and acres of fields” to Vermont, amid the landscape that run through, rocks to climb, first nurtured his love of nature steams to wade in and dam; and history. (Clendaniel family he recalls a wonderful sense of collection) freedom to roam the country- Below: Bill was a LT (jg) on the side. USS Goldsborough (DDG-20), His father was a real estate 1971 appraiser who worked for Laurence Rockefeller for many years when the philanthropist was buying land and historic properties in the region. His mother was a professional cel- list, who encouraged Bill to take up the violin. “Although our house was comfortable it was not a distinguished piece of architecture. But Woodstock is filled with historic houses of great beauty and considerable sophistication and I’ve often thought some of this must have rubbed off on me,” Bill says. “I once went to a lecture at the Radcliffe Seminars about the distinguished designer and landscape architect Charles Platt. The lecturer flashed a slide on the screen of a Platt house in Woodstock, one in which I had spent a great deal of time. So I had a background in both the natural world and in architecture and music.” Bill graduated from the Choate School, Williams Col- lege (magna cum laude with a major in History), Merton “In the landscape architecture profession and in the cemetery industry, we are all so grateful that Mount Auburn was the first to create a master plan because they committed the leadership, time, and energy to make it really good. Since then I’ve done mas- ter plans for cemeteries up and down the East Coast and in the Midwest, and people all know about the work we’ve done at Mount Auburn. It has become a model for cemetery planning nationally, the gold standard.” — Liz Vizza, of Brookline, MA; Landscape Architect College at Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar study- ing Politics and Economics), and Harvard Law School. In between he served for three years as an officer on a destroyer in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. Later, at the Boston law firm of Palmer & Dodge, Bill rotated through the vari- ous departments, noting that none exerted a particular pull. However, his three months of pro bono work for the Con - servation Law Foundation resonated in compelling ways. He found the work at once challenging and stimulating. He then became legal counsel for the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Program in the Office of the Secretary of Environmental Affairs. The highlight of what he calls his “short legal career” was working as part of the team litigating on behalf of the Commonwealth of Mas- sachusetts when it sued the Department of the Interior and the major oil companies to prevent the sale of leases to drill for oil on George’s Bank, one of the richest fishing grounds on the planet. Bill remembers “sitting up all night, working on the brief in the attorney general’s office.” After Massachusetts won in the District and Appeals Courts, the Federal Government and the oil companies decided not to appeal “just as we were about to fly to Washington to appear before the Supreme Court.” Thus the haddock and cod prevailed over the oil derrick. (continued on page 13) “I’ve never worked within an institution in which all of the people were so sup- portive of one another. Often, you walk into some kind of internecine crossfire, and that’s not what we found at Mount Auburn when we worked on designing the Preservation Services Building. In- stead, there was an extremely convincing kind of vitality. That’s all due to Bill’s leadership.” — Henry Moss, of Cambridge; Architect, Bruner/Cott Summer 2008 | 5