Laurel Hill Cemetery - Restoration of the Elisha Kent Kane Crypt

Project Description:

Founded in 1836 and designed by Scottish architect John Notman, Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places, and noted for being one of the earliest ‘rural’ cemeteries.  Among the many famous individuals interred there, one particular mausoleum in Laurel Hill contains the remains of a noted 19th Century Polar Explorer; the members of a Historical Society honoring him felt compelled to restore his final resting place from its current run-down state to its original splendor.  We authored a feasibility study for the restoration of this tomb, to generate interest among historical society members and for use in fund-raising activities.  We grouped our recommendations into three distinct phases designed to incorporate tasks requiring similar kinds of work, thus diminishing staging costs on the inaccessible tomb site and extending donor and grant resources.  These phases included upgrades to basic safety and security, enrichment of the existing tomb edifice, and final/optional aesthetic and structural improvements.  A detailed crypt inventory was arranged by our office through the National Historic Landmarks Program Manager for the Philadelphia Support Office of the National Park Service, and supervised by an Archaeologist for the National Park Service


Client: Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society

Location: Laurel Hill Cemetery, East Falls, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Products: Feasibility Study Report, Including Project Phasing & Preliminary Site Construction Details