Living with water in the Cities of the Dead

Jan. 29 Walk & Learn examines cemeteries and water management

 
Cast iron tombs from the latter half of the 1800s are found in many cemeteries

Cast iron tombs from the latter half of the 1800s are found in many cemeteries

Raised grave sites and paved pathways.

Raised grave sites and paved pathways.

Plastered masonry tombs are particularly subject to moisture related damage

Plastered masonry tombs are particularly subject to moisture related damage

 
Chevra Thilim after a rainstorm

Chevra Thilim after a rainstorm

Grassy paths between the mausoleums

Grassy paths between the mausoleums

With little green space, Chevra Thilim Cemetery floods often.

With little green space, Chevra Thilim Cemetery floods often.

 
St. Patrick’s is home to variety of family and society tombs

St. Patrick’s is home to variety of family and society tombs

The raised Touro family tomb looms over a grassy plot

The raised Touro family tomb looms over a grassy plot

Shaded by oaks, burial vaults line the wall at this cemetery.

Shaded by oaks, burial vaults line the wall at this cemetery.

 
A granite lintel sits astride two columns.

A granite lintel sits astride two columns.

This carved relief shows a mother and child along with common grave motifs

This carved relief shows a mother and child along with common grave motifs

 

Join us for a special, Sunday afternoon walk-and-learn tour of New Orleans cemeteries, 1 p.m. Jan. 29, led by Emily Ford of Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC. Emily specializes in the repair and restoration of New Orleans’ iconic tombs and mausoleums. While our cemeteries are among the area’s most popular destinations for tourists as well as locals, they are also left exposed to the elements and subjected to neglect. When tombs suffer damage, water is often the culprit.  Years of paving worsen the situation in some cemeteries.  However, there are solutions.

This half-mile walking tour, which will last approximately 1.5 hours, begins at Dispersed of Judah Cemetery, 4937 Canal St.  Be sure to dress comfortably in sturdy footwear. Cemeteries are historic and civic sites of particular significance to many.  Please arrive prepared to approach them with respect. Find more details and RSVP via Facebook.

 
Jasmine Henderson