The Past and Future of Cemetaries

Alexandra Lange on mausoleums old and new

“How might modern-day magnates translate the look of their home or office into the afterlife? … Olsen told me that, from railroads to polished granite and from embalming to lasers, cemeteries have always followed trends in technology and culture. Cities of the dead aren’t disconnected from cities of the living but are rather extensions of them. Technology does not separate us from the past; it democratizes public memorials, whether in stone or in pixels.”

Above: 1921 aerial view of the Woodlawn Cemetery. Photograph courtesy Avery Library, Drawings & Archives, Woodlawn Cemetery Records.