Prospect Cemetery in Jamaica, New York is the oldest family burial ground in Queens. It was established in 1668, and a chapel was added to the cemetery grounds in 1857. It has been a New York City Landmark since 1977. After the final interment in 1988, Prospect Cemetery fell into a state of disrepair.

This joint project between CTA Architects P.C. and DLANDstudio consisted of an extensive rehabilitation of the cemetery grounds which were overgrown with vines and weeds that had damaged many of the headstones, making the area impossible to traverse. After the eradication of weeds, pruning of trees, and clearing of debris, the grounds were seeded with a low-growing grass species mix to reduces the need for mowing to help prevent further damage to the grave markers.

CTA was responsible for a sample conservation program that was undertaken to treat historically important grave markers and provide a model for future conservation efforts. Markers were capped and reattached using state-of-the-art conservation techniques. A detailed geographic information system (GIS) survey was conducted over a two-year period to document the location, content and condition of all markers and related fencing and family plot boundaries. The database is fully searchable and contains photos of each of the more than 2,000 markers.

The work was funded in part by the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.


Owner: New York City Parks Department Olmstead Center

Budget: Withheld