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Most Haunted Places in Philadelphia

july 16, 2022

 In Pennsylvania, the city of Philadelphia has a rich history and many haunted spots. The city’s many haunted buildings have old, haunting architecture that leads to ghost sightings. Some of the oldest buildings in the city are particularly haunted, including Eastern State Penitentiary. This article mentions the Betsy Ross House, Laurel Hill Cemetery, and Fort Mifflin. Read on to learn more.

Laurel Hill East

If you’re searching for the most haunted places in Philadelphia, you’re in for a treat. Philadelphia is the oldest city in the country and is home to many renowned ghost stories. From old mansions where ex-wives cried foul to historic cemeteries where fallen soldiers were buried, Philadelphia has more than a few places to explore. You’ll find unmistakable cries at night and even furniture that moves independently.

The cemetery is home to the graves of some of the city’s most prominent people. A mausoleum for a wealthy landowner, such as George W. Childs, is lined with the remains of new money industrialists and financiers. His family plot was next door to another one, the Logan Burial Ground, and he was the joint owner of the Public Ledger. Drexel and Childs later developed a suburban community, Wayne on the Main Line, where they buried each other.

Laurel Hill Announces its New Brand

july 13, 2022

Two of the Philadelphia Region’s Most Historic Cemeteries Get a Facelift
PHILADELPHIA (July 2022) – Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery and West Laurel Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home announced today the release of a brand refresh, including a new name, logo, and website. The new brand, Laurel Hill, is part of a larger strategic planning process of increasing clarity and greater connectivity between the organization’s cemetery services, funeral services, educational programs, and arboretum.

The new brand, rooted in centuries of stewardship and stories while embracing a future of growth and sustainability, unifies Laurel Hill East (Philadelphia, PA), Laurel Hill West (Bala Cynwyd, PA), Laurel Hill Funeral Home (Bala Cynwyd, PA), and the Friends of Laurel Hill. The brand platform is built on the organization’s three foundational pillars of eternal rest, recreation, and civic value.
“Our new brand brings a new dimension to our organization that clearly articulates who we are, what we do, and what differentiates us,” said Nancy Goldenberg, President & CEO of Laurel Hill. “With Laurel Hill, we now have a clear level of consistency across multiple communication channels which we know our audiences will find attractive and useful.”

Laurel Hill Cemetery Rebrands With New Name, Logo, Website

july 8, 2022

The new initiative brings together Laurel Hill East, Laurel Hill West, Laurel Hill Funeral Home, and the Friends of Laurel under one name.

The new brand, rooted in centuries of stewardship and stories while embracing a future of growth and sustainability, unifies Laurel Hill East, Laurel Hill West, Laurel Hill Funeral Home, and the Friends of Laurel Hill.

Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery will kill off its green Kelly Drive hillside — in order to save it

May 19, 2022

Thousands of motorists, cyclists, runners, and rowers pass the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia that rises 45 feet atop a steep slope overlooking Kelly Drive — the graveside monuments and headstones poking out from above as if guardians of the Schuylkill below.

Starting next week, that one-acre green slope at Kelly Drive and West Hunting Park Avenue will start turning brown as it gets defoliated with herbicides and by hand. The goal: Create a new meadow the cemetery’s owner believes will be more natural to the area, result in a haven for native bees and birds, help with erosion, and give passersby a more colorful view. Plus a granite outcrop that gives a commanding view of the river will be exposed for the first time in decades when ivy and other vegetation are gone.

“It’s a very unusual project. And we want to make sure the public is aware of what we are doing,” Nancy Goldenberg, president and CEO of Laurel Hill Cemetery, said during a walk Tuesday along the base of the slope. “I see thousands of people driving by or biking here every day. And this could all be gorgeous.”

22 Women to Watch in 2022

May 11, 2022

Nancy Goldenberg
President and CEO, Laurel Hill Cemetery and West Laurel Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home

As president and CEO of Laurel Hill Cemetery, Goldenberg seeks to create memorable experiences in new, gratifying ways among the diverse collection of art, history and horticulture in the company’s cemeteries. This year, she will continue to lead a team of caring professionals and insightful civic leaders who have positioned Laurel Hill as a model organization in an industry that continues to evolve.

What skills are you cultivating or exploring in 2022? 

As some of the largest properties in urban areas, cemeteries are making a comeback, playing a greater role in supporting physical and mental health. Like so many cemeteries around the country, Laurel Hill experienced a record number of visitors over the past two years – partly driven by COVID-19 – as people discovered our safe and beautiful 265 acres.

We are among the handful of cemeteries nationally renowned for producing one-of-a-kind memorable, place-based experiences that people crave. As a repository of literally thousands of stories of buried souls, remarkable outdoor sculpture and an extraordinary history within a garden landscape, we have the capacity to tell unique narratives visitors find interesting and relevant. To that end, this year we are looking to improve our infrastructure and hone our hospitality services. We are working to become more operationally resilient by investing in technology and training. We’re also planning to launch a new brand and more creatively package and market our offerings to continue building new audiences who will engage with and trust us and remain loyal users.

An urban planning leader finds new life as the head of two historic Philadelphia cemeteries.

April 26, 2022

For someone who spent 35 years working to improve people’s quality of life, taking a leadership role in the death industry might seem like an odd move.

The job opportunity gave Nancy Goldenberg GCP’80 brief pause, too, before she joined Laurel Hill Cemetery and West Laurel Hill Cemetery & Funeral Home in 2018 as their first female president and CEO. “After thinking about it, I realized, ‘Wow, this is everything wrapped up in one for me,’” Goldenberg says. “Pretty much the only thing I hadn’t had experience in was the death industry, which is actually very interesting, creative, and innovative. And it’s all about the use of land. So I’m really loving my job.”

The stunning rise of cremation reveals America’s changing idea of death

April 19, 2022

In 2020, 56 percent of Americans who died were cremated, more than double the figure of 27 percent two decades earlier, according to the Cremation Association of North America (CANA). By 2040, 4 out of 5 Americans are projected to chose cremation over casket burial, according to both CANA and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).

This seismic shift represents potentially severe revenue losses for the funeral industry. It’s leading innovators to create a growing number of green alternatives and other choices that depart from traditional casket funerals. And rapidly shifting views about disposing with bodies have also led to changes in how we memorialize loved ones — and reflect an increasingly secular, transient and, some argue, death-phobic nation.

13 Cool Things to See & Do in Fairmount Park

March 25, 2022

In 1835, Quaker John Jay Smith was so upset with the burial situation in Philadelphia that he conspired with friends to conceive of a new cemetery, set in a picturesque location and without any religious affiliation. Laurel Hill Cemetery was founded in 1836 and is the final resting place of notable Philadelphians like David Rittenhouse, Civil War-era generals, Titanic passengers and even beloved Phillies announcer Harry Kalas. Marked by ornate tombstones and mausoleums, the cemetery is ideal for architecture lovers too. Among the extensive programmatic offerings are fun (not a word typically associated with cemeteries) themed tours, concerts and movie nights.

Philadelphia's Most Beautiful Cemeteries

March 21, 2022

Laurel Hill East Cemetery is justifiably famous. It was the second “rural cemetery” constructed in the United States, preceded only by Mount Auburn Cemetery in Boston. Founded in 1836, Laurel Hill East comprises 78 acres of land and is home to more than 33,000 graves. Unlike The Woodlands, which you can tour the entirety of within a few hours, you could spend a day walking through the beautiful landscape of Laurel Hill and not come near to seeing it all. That is part of its immense historic appeal – it is a place that invites you to return to it again and again, and it is guaranteed that on each visit you will encounter pieces of this city of the dead you have never seen before.

Things to Do for Valentine's Day Weekend in Greater Philadelphia for 2022

February 2, 2022

If you didn’t think Philadelphia would go all-out for Valentine’s Day, you’d be sorely mistaken (It is called the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, after all). Laurel Hill Cemetery hosts a pair of loved-themed tours of the grounds to honor the holiday.

Walks for Outrunning Omicron

January 16, 2022

Irene Levy Baker lists the best walking spots in Philadelphia, including Laurel Hill. Laurel Hill Cemetery is also listed in her book, “100 Things To Do In Philadelphia Before You Die.” Purchase a copy of her book through our gift shop here.

PhillyFunGuide's Museum Store Holiday Gift Guide

December 9, 2021

The Laurel Hill Cemetery gift shop features a plethora of products representing their sculpture garden, arboretum, and important place in Philadelphia history.

9/11 Service Held At Heroes Memorial In Bala Cynwyd

September 11, 2021

BALA CYNWYD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — Community members gathered on Saturday at the West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd to hold a ceremony for the day the world will never forget. The service took place at the Heroes Memorial with remarks from Lower Merion Township officials. Organizers said the event served as a reminder of our patriotic roots.

The best places to see fall foliage in the Philly region

October 12, 2021

Most people think of Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill as historic cemeteries, but they are also an accredited arboretum, with many native and non-native trees. While both have fall foliage, arboretum manager Aaron Greenberg says the best colors are at West Laurel Hill, where visitors can enjoy long alleyways flanked by sugar maples, which are known for their bright red color, and by ginkgo trees, which turn a distinctive yellow color, then drop their leaves. 

Laurel Hill West Breaks Ground on New Jewish Section – Makom Shalom

June 10, 2021

Historic West Laurel Hill Cemetery announces yet another milestone with the official groundbreaking of its expansion to its first Jewish section of the cemetery.