Historic Elmwood Foundation Project Descriptions
The mission of the Historic Elmwood Foundation
is to preserve the history of the Cemetery and
the memory of those interred. You may choose to
target your donation toward any of these projects.
Your entire contribution will be used for the
projects listed below.
Chapel Exterior Restoration.
1855, the Trustees of Elmwood Cemetery commissioned
church architects Albert and Octavius Jordan to
design a small Chapel for use in burial ceremonies.
The Chapel denotes the Norman Gothic Revival period
and was completed in 1856. The chapel was remodeled
in the 1960s. A fire in the fall of 1976
destroyed all but the exterior walls. With a combination
of insurance money and financial help of the public,
the building was restored.
2007, we moved forward with the renovation of
the interior of the Chapel including painting, new flooring, lighting and refinishing the hardwood altar floor. Also,we have replaced exterior
wood, where necessary, and painted. We removed
the iron screens from over the stained glass windows, thereby improving the natural light in the Chapel.
The Chapel continues
to be used for funeral services as originally
designed, but Elmwood’s concept of community
involvement has led to much wider use. In its
150th year the chapel is now also the scene of
concerts, educational programs, lectures, memorial
programs and weddings.
We need to protect the
historic Chapel’s exterior with masonry
tuck-pointing, window glazing, door refinishing, and exterior cleaning. Total project estimate: $90,000.
• Audio Tour. WWe would like to share the rich history of those who are buried at Elmwood with even more people by developing an illustrated map and three distinct self-guided audio tours: Historic Detroit, Political Leaders and the Underground Railroad. Total project estimate: $10,000.
• Tree Reforestation. We are proud to
have over seventy species of trees on the
the last 160 years, more than 80,000 burials have
taken place at Elmwood. Rich and poor, famous
and unknown have come to rest in our ground. Many
have memorials, some have elaborate tombs, and others have simple markers.
The passage of time and our 4-season climate have
taken their toll on all. Today, there are lots
and mausoleums that need care but have no family
remaining to provide the funds for this upkeep.
As funding allows, the Foundation will repair and
restore some of these “abandoned”
memorials. You may contribute toward the cost
of repair and cleaning of these monuments. Project estimate: $5,000 annually.
property. Unfortunately, some trees have been lost
due to disease or age. The Foundation is working with an arborist and a landscape architect to ensure a thoughtful planned approach to Elmwood Cemetery's reforestation. Trees have been selected to replace damaged or dying trees and void species. This Arbor Day, April 25, 2008, we will plant three concolor fir trees. This is possible due to your generous donations and a mini-grant of $200 received from the State of Michigan. We also received a $1,500 grant from the DTE Foundation that helped fund the planting of 27 additional trees in 2008.
• Tree Identification.
Elmwood Cemetery has more than 1,800 stand-alone
trees on its 86 acres of grounds. Some of the 70
different species are over 300 years old! The
Foundation has established a program that will provide
identification markers for individual trees. Each
selected tree will have an above ground marker
that will bear the
genus, species and common name of the tree. This
will be a valuable education tool for our many children’s
groups who tour the Cemetery grounds, and will be
enjoyed by all who visit Elmwood. Individuals or groups can
purchase all or part of a tree marker. Total project estimate: $11,200.
• Wildflower and Garden Fund.
In 1846 when Elmwood had its first burial, the grounds
had many wildflowers. These have nearly vanished.
We would like to restore Elmwood to its natural
beauty with wildflowers and colorful gardens.
The grounds crew worked diligently to expand the
color around the gatehouse area. This Fall we prepared additional locations throughout the Cemetery
for planting. Landscape architect Candy Sweeny identified various additional locations for wildflowers.
Bulbs were planted this Fall in several locations. A new 30 foot garden was placed in section B. This garden consists of native Michigan grasses and flowers. We also revamped the gardens around the Chapel. Garden groups and individuals are always welcome to adopt small or large sections at the Cemetery. We would like an annual fund of $2,500 for wildflower and garden restoration.
• Road Restoration. In 2007, we completed the first phase of our road
restoration program. Along the southern section
of the Cemetery, we added great appeal with
completely new roads and curbing. The curbs will
prevent water and soil run off on to the roads
and provide a very finished look to the Cemetery.
The first phase impacts sections 10, 11, B, C
and D. Total project estimate: $1,100,000.
• Pond Restoration.