Many people know of Daniel Chester French's giant sculpture of a seated Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, but there are also three notable French sculptures at the Forest Hills Cemetery. Dana Pilson, a curatorial researcher at Chesterwood provided a presentation focusing on the remarkable achievements of Daniel Chester French at the Forsyth Chapel at Forest Hills Cemetery. In Forest Hills Cemetery, his works are the Milmore Memorial, the Clark Memorial, and the George Robert White Memorial, known as the Angel of Peace. Pilson's presentation places his cemetery works within the trajectory of French’s noted career, and included rarely-seen historical images that highlight French’s remarkable creative processes. The event was held on April 15, and was re-recorded on May 2 via Zoom.
Community Preservation Act funds will be used to build a new school playground, support new affordable housing, and historically rehab several churches,
Mayor Michelle announced 56 projects will receive more than $40 million through CPA funds. The Boston City Council approved the funding on April 12. By law, projects must support the creation or preservation of affordable housing, historic sites, or open space and recreation. Since 2018, Boston has awarded more than $157 million to support 293 projects including 112 open space and recreation projects, 46 affordable housing projects, and 135 historic preservation projects, according to a press release. The following are the eight Jamaica Plain projects that are receiving funding:
361 Centre Street
$3,000,000 to partially fund an adaptive reuse rental project utilizing the vacant Blessed Sacrament Church in the Hyde Square neighborhood.
The Tower Street entrance to the Forest Hills Cemetery is currently closed as they remove damaged trees from that area. But numerous people expressed their doubt about the trees needing to be removed on the Cemetery's Facebook page. The Cemetery, which is a private business, can remove the trees from their property if they want to do so, politely responded to commenters and explained the situation. "We’re working to clear that area up and will be planting there to reestablish the area with healthy trees. We’re also hoping to repair the pathways (especially the one going to the right towards Sections 6 and 7) so that they are not as hazardous," answered the Cemetery to one commenter.
Jamaica Plain and surrounding neighborhoods in southwestern Boston have the highest tree canopies in the city. Generally speaking, the tree canopy is the part of the city shaded by trees. The city recently released a tree canopy assessment for 2014-2019. This year's worth of analysis is from high-quality, high resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) images captured during airplane flyovers of Boston, according to a press release. Boston's Parks and Recreation Department commissioned the report to understand which areas have the most potential for increased tree cover, and analyze how the city's canopy cover has changed.
Joggers, bicycling, and dogs will no longer be allowed when the Forest Hills Cemetery reopens to the public. And there's a neighborhood petition objecting to the private cemetery's new policy. The cemetery announced it was closed to the public in late April because too many people were coming to bike rides, walk around, walk dogs, and exercise. The reopening date has not been chosen yet, and will be determined based upon the guidance of the state. "We require all visitors to be respectful of our primary purpose which is to bury the dead and to provide a peaceful and tranquil setting for their families and friends," said the cemetery's website.
Cross the Forest Hills Cemetery off your list of places you can walk around. The cemetery has closed its grounds to the general public due to too many people coming in for walks and bicycle rides. UniversalHub.com reported that the cemetery's side gates were locked on Tuesday. The main gate is only open between 2 and 4 pm, and that's only for people going to burials and cemetery staff and officials. A staffer told UHub that more people have come to the cemetery since the stay-at-home order then normal, and that includes dog walkers, bicyclists, and little kids, who were climbing trees and monuments.
What should be done with this body of mine when, as the saying on many old New England tombstones goes, I have departed this life? Over the years I spent writing a novel starring a gravedigger, this question crept gradually from the back of my mind to the fore of it. My protagonist, Ben, champions green burials at a graveyard inspired by Forest Hills Cemetery (more on that later), and he devotes a share of his free time to creating a burial suit laden with mushroom spores, designed to turn his remains into “some really nice compost.”
Through several drafts of the novel, Ben both reflected and inspired my burgeoning plans for making an environmentally friendly transition from flesh to dust. Though I wasn’t up for engineering my own burial suit, I started to picture myself being lowered, free of a casket and embalming chemicals, into a hole in some conservation land, a possibility that an episode of the HBO series “Six Feet Under” first brought to my attention. Then my father died.
FHET welcomes author and historian Dee Morris for a Sunday afternoon historic walking tour to celebrate summer in the city. A Victorian Summer: Good Friends, Tasty Food and a Cold Beer
The tree-shaded landscape of Forest Hills Cemetery is the eternal home of Victorians who enhanced the social life of Boston. Jacob Wirth (1840-1892) and his family established a legendary eating and drinking emporium that is a landmark today. The fresh shellfish at the oyster saloon of Richard “Rich” Higgins (1830-1904) and the lager beer of Henry Pfaff (1826-1893) drew a loyal following. Events at Roxbury estates featured fresh flowers or fruit from Marshall P. Wilder (1789-1886).
Jamaica Plain's "Little Dig" -- AKA the Casey Aborway -- is scheduled to pass a key benchmark this week. Shea Circle, the part of the Arborway where Franklin Park meets the main entrance to Forest Hills Cemetery, will take a giant step toward becoming Shea Square. The stop lights in the new configuration are to be turned on for the first time on Thursday. Transportation planners say a signalized intersection will be more efficient than the large circle it is replacing. Here's what the finished product should look like:
Here are the details on which traffic movements will be affected the next two weeks, as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation:
On or about December 15th the traffic signal will control Shea Square for the first time.