not to be confused with the cemetery at Graceland where Elvis Aaron Presley rests
4001 North Clark Street, Chicago
Located north of Wrigley Field behind a brick wall at the intersection of Clark and Irving Park Road
Accessible by the #22 Clark or #80 Irving Park Bus Routes
CTA Red Line Train (Sheridan) walk .4 west to Graceland Cemetery or take a short ride on #80 Irving Park Bus
Divvy bike-share dock at Southport & Irving Park
(additional docks several blocks either north or south on Clark Street)
It’s a tour with many guides
Each participant will lead us to another grave
And we will share
And discover things we could never find on our own
Graceland Cemetery compares favorably to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
Both established in the Victorian-Style of the 19th Century with ornate garden landscaping, creating pastoral settings attributed to the reign of Queen Victoria
Graceland: 80 Acres compared to Père Lachaise: 110 Acres
Both were created relatively far outside of the city, at that time
Graceland because of the Chicago Fire and health concerns about the shallow graves in Lincoln Park, and fear of cholera affecting the water supply
Père Lachaise was created due to the crowded cemeteries of Paris. Skeletal remains of 8 million occupants were also moved underground to ossuaries, or catacombs
Père Lachaise has the tragic love story of Héloïse et Abélard
Graceland has the mystery of Inez Clarke
Both venues bear superstitions surrounding certain statues, of Victor Noir in Père Lachaise and Eternal Silence in Graceland
Although it would be difficult to match the numerous range of statues in Père Lachaise
Graceland has it’s own impressive monuments by Chicago architects, the designer of the Lincoln Memorial in DC and two statures by Lorado Taft
At Graceland Cemetery we may discover:
A US Supreme Court Justice
Mayors, Governors and Legislators
Chicagoans who are familiar because they share the name of a local street, a business or theater
A plethora of Architects and Inventors
Captains of Industry
Publishers and Writers
Painters, Dancers and Actors
The 1st African American Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Mr Cub, Ernie Banks!
And Roger Ebert
Every December, we visit the extraordinary cimetières de Paris, which are as exquisite as any of the parks.
You see occasional tour guides, but we envision creating our own tours, where everyone is encouraged to contribute.
A cemetery presents a maze, and finding a plot can be a challenge in itself. There will be plenty of walking. Each participant selects a gravesite (in advance) then shares their interests and presents either a narrative, a poem, a reading, a story – it’s entirely flexible.
In Chicago, we created a Meet-Up group, initiating Tour de Cimetiere among the various cemeteries. We envision a great Sunday walk, maybe with a French beret or scarf, maybe flowers for the graves. We envision poems and performances, possibly even music and song.
A Zombie or Goth would not be turned away, but we will maintain an aire of respect.
(which is very different from taking anything too seriously)
This may be an opportunity for spirituality, but perhaps just an amble with a cup of coffee.
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Gravesite of Jim Morrison at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris