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Laurel Hill

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NEWS
July 14, 1992 | By Peter Dobrin, FOR THE INQUIRER
The concerts presented each summer by the Women for Greater Philadelphia are, unfailingly, long on atmosphere. Faithful patrons arrive at Laurel Hill just after 7, walk the grounds of the charming colonial mansion and look down over the bluffs along the Schuylkill while waiting for the skies to darken and fireflies to brighten. The five-concert series provides an experience unlike any other in Philadelphia, and, maybe, anywhere this side of the turn of the century. Guitarist Allen Krantz and flutist Deborah Carter were scheduled to perform Sunday night, but Carter, who was recently in an automobile accident, was unable to play.
NEWS
July 29, 1992 | By Peter Dobrin, SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
If you get to one of the Women for Greater Philadelphia concerts at Laurel Hill mansion more than a minute past 7 (the concert starts at 7:30 p.m.), you miss out on the seats in the main room and have to settle for a room off to the side. Then, you have an acoustical distortion to contend with. And because you can't see the musicians, you lose a certain intimacy with them, a dynamic critical to chamber music. It's like what Woody Allen says in Manhattan about his father's bad seat in a synagogue: It's far from the action, farther away from God. Maybe no one felt spiritually slighted Sunday night at the Huntingdon Trio's concert, but the 30 people relegated to the second room must have felt musically slighted.
NEWS
July 30, 1991 | By Peter Dobrin, Special to The Inquirer
Every year, for one summer evening, the Huntingdon Trio gets a chance to use a 19th-century Broadwood fortepiano at Laurel Hill in Fairmount Park. Like the house itself, the old piano has its charm. A short visit with them - along with the concert's hosts, the Women for Greater Philadelphia, dressed in colonial costumes - offers a taste of what an evening of chamber music might have been like around 1800. But as an argument for the validity of the authentic instrument movement, the Broadwood instrument does little to further the cause.
NEWS
August 10, 2012 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wharton, Morris, Meade, Rittenhouse, and McKean. The names were familiar to Pete Hoskins when he was Philadelphia streets commissioner in the 1980s and '90s. They topped signposts that flashed by as he drove through the city. Hoskins saw the names again while touring Laurel Hill Cemetery as its president and chief executive officer three years ago. They were cut into ornate headstones, obelisks, and mausoleums. And that gave him an idea. Why not tell the stories of these movers and shakers who were honored in Philadelphia by having streets and institutions named after them?
NEWS
October 31, 2001 | By Katherine Ramsland
Need a weekend destination? How about a cemetery? Not so long ago, your local graveyard was the place to socialize and rejuvenate, and with good reason. Many were developed for precisely those results, and they became cultural and community centers. P?re Lachaise in Paris was the world's first "garden cemetery," merging nature and art to lure the public into the sanctuary of the dead. Eventually this decorative necropolis inspired American entrepreneurs. In 1831, the 72-acre Mount Auburn was plotted outside Boston on land clothed in diverse botanical life.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 1991 | By Peter Dobrin, Special to The Inquirer
The Women for Greater Philadelphia are awfully proud of their old fortepiano at Laurel Hill in Fairmount Park - an 1808 Broadwood. Every summer for 12 years, they've invited chamber groups to perform on it, and they welcome any opportunity to tell you its story and tout its pedigree, just as they would any portrait or piece of furniture in the historic house. The fortepiano is a rare and valuable relic, they say, and this much is true. But unlike the house's other artifacts, it is more than a showpiece.
NEWS
March 26, 2008 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
An ancient cemetery seeking relevance in the world of the living and a museum looking to build an inquisitive and net-savvy community are among nine recipients of more than $1 million in grants from the Heritage Philadelphia Program of the Pew Charitable Trusts. "This year, we expanded the notion of heritage to include social history, folklore, and civic engagement work as well as other forms of living cultural heritage," Paula Marincola, heritage program director, said in a statement.
NEWS
May 4, 2000 | By Susan Snyder, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When Normajean Ross was shopping at Strawbridge's in Philadelphia in December, a cashier looked at her, smiled in recognition, and said: "You're Mrs. Ross. " Years ago, Ross was the woman's teacher at Harrington Elementary in West Philadelphia, and she had made a difference. "I have to tell you how much you mean to me," said the young woman, who is studying at the University of Pennsylvania to be an obstetrician. "You're the mother I never had. " For Ross, who became the Philadelphia School District's teacher of the year last night, it was an epiphany.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 26, 1990 | By Martin H. McNamara, Special to the Daily News
During junior high school, I would walk home past an old churchyard cemetery. Some days, particularly when it was a little later and the sun had begun to set, I would glimpse something darting quickly behind a headstone. It was probably the shadow of a tree branch or a squirrel. But in those early evening moments when the air was amber with the last rays of an autumn sun and Halloween was very close, whatever it was that I saw looked like the bony fingers of the undead stretching for the living flesh of a junior high school student.
NEWS
April 2, 2012
Restoring historic cemeteries As Ed Colimore's article about Mount Moriah Cemetery's demise aptly describes, the loss of permanent care at formerly glorious cemeteries is both a personal and public tragedy ("For cemeteries, an eternal task," March 25). While such losses are still rare, they do remind us of the enormous obligation that goes with the promise of eternal care. Many of us are looking for ways to help restore Mount Moriah to her former glory and bring peace back to the families whose descendants are buried there.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 13, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
You wouldn't think there's much love or sex in a graveyard, but it turns out that Laurel Hill Cemetery has plenty of both. Like the Philadelphia banker's son who married one of America's most beautiful actresses. She dumped him. And the devoted wife who had her heart - her real heart, not a paper cutout - buried next to her first husband. And the Union general who sent the Civil War equivalent of nude selfies to a lover who, after being spurned, published his private yearnings in a book.
NEWS
May 24, 2013 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
For nearly a century, the Silent Sentinel watched over the graves of Civil War veterans at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Yeadon and Southwest Philadelphia. The bronze figure of a Union soldier clasping the end of a musket stood at rest amid long, neat rows of white marble headstones. Then, as though deserting its post in fall 1970, the statue disappeared. Thieves pulled it from its granite base and tried to sell it to a Camden scrap dealer, who alerted police. Silent Sentinel was recovered, repaired at a Chester foundry, and stored out of public view for more than 40 years, until a secure location could be found and money raised for a granite base.
NEWS
August 10, 2012 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wharton, Morris, Meade, Rittenhouse, and McKean. The names were familiar to Pete Hoskins when he was Philadelphia streets commissioner in the 1980s and '90s. They topped signposts that flashed by as he drove through the city. Hoskins saw the names again while touring Laurel Hill Cemetery as its president and chief executive officer three years ago. They were cut into ornate headstones, obelisks, and mausoleums. And that gave him an idea. Why not tell the stories of these movers and shakers who were honored in Philadelphia by having streets and institutions named after them?
ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 2012 | By Jonathan Lai, For The Inquirer
When Jay Schwartz picked up a reel of film in a Lambertville flea market 20 years ago, he had no idea he was holding the only known visual record of an exhumation spurred by a 20-year court dispute. And fittingly enough, Schwartz will have a public showing of the bizarre movie on Friday, July 13, at Laurel Hill Cemetery, where it was made. Schwartz screened the footage alongside other found home movies a few times over the years, but he never realized what it was depicting.
NEWS
April 2, 2012
Restoring historic cemeteries As Ed Colimore's article about Mount Moriah Cemetery's demise aptly describes, the loss of permanent care at formerly glorious cemeteries is both a personal and public tragedy ("For cemeteries, an eternal task," March 25). While such losses are still rare, they do remind us of the enormous obligation that goes with the promise of eternal care. Many of us are looking for ways to help restore Mount Moriah to her former glory and bring peace back to the families whose descendants are buried there.
NEWS
June 30, 2011 | By Paul Jones, Inquirer Staff Writer
Since its founding in 1869, West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd has consisted only of a mixed, nondenominational burial ground. That changed Wednesday evening, when the nonprofit cemetery introduced Chesed Shel Emet, a section designated for those of the Jewish faith. The all-Jewish cemetery within 187-acre West Laurel Hill - sister to Laurel Hill Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, in Philadelphia - officially opened with a ribbon-cutting Wednesday. Alexander L. "Pete" Hoskins, president and chief executive officer of West Laurel Hill and Laurel Hill, welcomed a small crowd of Jewish family members to the site and, with Bill Doran, superintendent of both cemeteries, led a brief tour of the new area.
NEWS
September 30, 2010 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
For decades, a room in the Medical Examiner's Office has been the resting place for Philadelphia residents whose remains have never been claimed. Most were elderly, died from natural causes or illnesses, and were cremated without funeral services or headstones to mark their passing. Last week, 500 of those estimated 3,000 unclaimed remains were laid to rest in picturesque Laurel Hill Cemetery along Kelly Drive, buried in small boxes in one of the graveyard's grassy slopes. In the coming weeks, 1,000 additional remains will be moved there as well.
FOOD
June 24, 2010 | By Dianna Marder, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was billed as a dinner to die for, with dishes from an 1876 cookbook edited by Benjamin Franklin's great-granddaughter (crab soup, sirloin roasted on a spit, Scandinavian Almond Cake) and "entertainment" at the grave sites of Philadelphia culinary notables. "Dig In: A Culinary Tour and Class," held June 11, featured dinner by chef Chris Koch at the Marketplace at East Falls, after which two dozen or so daring participants walked across the street with West Chester University English professor Michael W. Brooks for a twilight stroll through Laurel Hill Cemetery, bats and all. For Laurel Hill, which offers programs at least once a month year-round, the culinary venture was a successful first.
NEWS
June 1, 2010 | By Dianna Marder, Inquirer Staff Writer
To mark their wedding anniversary, Doug and Audrey Miller of Northeast Philadelphia renewed their sacred vows at one of their favorite spots in the city - among the tombstones at Laurel Hill Cemetery. "We take our 5-year-old daughter there often to spend the day walking and taking pictures. It's such a beautiful place," Audrey Miller said. "For some of the pictures, we posed in front of a mausoleum overlooking the Schuylkill, and they turned out great. " Miller recently submitted her 2008 photos for publication in a 175th-anniversary book that cemetery officials plan to publish in January.
NEWS
November 27, 2009 | By Kristin E. Holmes INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
On leisurely walks through West Laurel Hill Cemetery, George Frank and his wife, Carole, never saw on a headstone a name that sounded Jewish. The couple, who live within blocks of the cemetery, figured the memorial park was a place where only Christians found eternal rest. As Jews, the Franks did not see themselves reflected in the granite monuments they passed. That image of exclusivity has continued to haunt West Laurel Hill despite its nonsectarian roots and openness, said Pete Hoskins, the cemetery's chief executive officer and president.
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