Maintaining a cemetery through 163 years is a monumental task. During the mid to late 1900s the cemetery was managed so poorly that in 1995 Cypress Hills Cemetery was on the brink of bankruptcy and going into receivership. A cemetery where over 300,000 loved ones lay to rest was degraded into a forgotten wasteland. The weeds and brush overtook the landscape and the beautiful cemetery art disappeared.
Not only was the cemetery struggling with its appearance but also its finances. As we all know, it is difficult to improve something without the funds. We were lucky in that we had a good foundation to work with. We had a historic 225-acre cemetery which just needed a little TLC. The managers gave the cemetery the attention and care it deserved and were rewarded. They restored their relationship with the local funeral directors and plot owners and regained the trust of the State Cemetery Board. This enabled us to become one of the busiest cemeteries in New York City and each year we continue the trend upward.
2011 ACE Award Winner
In our efforts to restore the integrity of the cemetery and its community, Cypress Hills Cemetery was awarded the 2011 American Cemetery of Excellence award. We have brought the cemetery from the depths of despair and created a place rich in beauty, history, and innovation. We have faced tremendous adversity and tribulations but we have come out unscathed. We have become a place which the community holds up in high regard. Our carefully manicured grounds, our innovative community outreach programs, and our ever increasing operations are a constant reminder that we have achieved our goal. Our work is far from over. With the help of our dedicated and trustworthy staff, we have the opportunity to enhance the cemetery well into the future. We take so much pride in how far we come and we strive to improve everyday.