Graceland Cemetery

There is a very good chance I only have one year left in Chicago. Actually, if you want to be exact, there’s a very good chance I only have 11 months left in Chicago. There are so many amazing places to eat, shop, and explore here that I complied a list of all the things I want to do before I move. Needless to say, there are about 12 restaurants for every one entry in other categories. What can I say? I love food…

Anyways, with my summer quickly coming to an end, I’ve narrowed down things that are not possible in the cold and I’m trying to check them off before winter strikes. One of the items on my list was to visit Graceland Cemetery. After reading Devil in the White City, I grew rather fond of Daniel Burnham and John Root (among other famous Chicago names like Potter Palmer). Then I found out that all of these men (plus MANY more) are buried in a giant, gorgeous cemetery that is open to visitors. I knew immediately that it was something I wanted to do before I left this great city and finally made the trip.
The first bit of advice I have for those of you who travel to this cemetery is to be certain you are at the right one. Just down the street from Graceland Cemetery is Graceland Jewish Cemetery. Confusing? Yeah. I wandered around the wrong one for a solid 45 minutes before I walked away disappointed then realized I was in the wrong place. When I finally did get to the right cemetery, I was blown away. This place is GORGEOUS. Absolutely stunning. I took about a zillion pictures and walked until I had giant blisters on the bottom of my feet. Nothing I say about it can really do it justice, so I’ll share a some of my pictures below. I’m not even going to apologize for how image heavy this post is.
William Kimball’s grave. He was a traveling salesman who eventually settled in Chicago and sold pianos and organs.
George Pullman is responsible for the invention of the sleeping car and the construction of lots of railroads as a result. His grave was gorgeous!
Mies Van Der Rohe’s headstone. A famous architect whose slogan was “less is more”.
One of my favorites! That pyramid is the monument above is placed over the grave of a wealthy brewer, Peter Schoenhofen.
Daniel Burnham was the chief of construction for the World’s Fair when it was in Chicago at the beginning of the 20th century. He is also responsible for a lot of the other gorgeous buildings that grace my city today. He was partners with John Root before Root passed away.
There were a ton of these headless statues around the cemetery. How creepy/awesome are they!?

One of my favorite graves was that of Marshall Field and his family. It looked like this gorgeous serene park and even had benches where you could sit and just have some quiet time to yourself. So I sat down and did what every blogger does…took pictures and journaled :). For those who don’t know, Marshall Field developed his company into the largest wholesale and dry goods seller in the world.
Last, but not least, this is another of my favorites…
Bruce Goff, architect.

It took me like a hundred years before I was finally able to find John Root’s grave. It was pretty but my feet hated me for making them walk so far just to find it. I’m glad I took the extra time and effort because he was one of the main reasons for my visit!
The only headstone I didn’t get to see was that of Inez Clark. There’s a ton of folklore surrounding her grave and suggesting that she haunts the cemetery so I’m REALLY bummed I couldn’t find her burial spot. For more info, you can read here.

If you are in Chicago and you’re wondering what sights you should see and what sights you can skip, I would say this is NOT one to be skipped. It’s beautiful, breathtaking, and so incredibly peaceful. Plus, there are countless historical figures buried on the grounds–many of them resting underneath HUGE monuments. It truly is a sight to see :).

So have any of you ever been here before? What did you think? I’ve always loved graveyards of all kinds so it doesn’t surprise me that I was so in love with this one. I can’t wait to go back.


6 thoughts on “Graceland Cemetery

  1. this is so fantastic!! I love to explore graveyards. it's amazing how they're peaceful & creepy at the same time – it's so intriguing! if ever I'm in Chicago (which i'm hoping to one day) I will be sure to visit this cemetary. thanks for sharing, mal!

  2. Kerry–I agree!! Ever since I can remember I've LOVED going to cemeteries. I think they are so peaceful and gorgeous. The stories in the headstones are fascinating as well. You're right, definitely not morbid :)

  3. This post is gorgeous! For the longest time, I've LOVED visiting old cemeteries. It's not morbid, it's so very interesting. I'm glad you do it too! xo

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