Bonaventure Cemetery of Savannah, Georgia and St. Roch Cemetery of New Orleans, Louisiana : an historical overview and comparison study

University essay from SLU/Landscape Architecture (until 121231)

Abstract: Savannah, Georgia and New Orleans, Louisiana, two cities in the southeastern United States demonstrating many similarities in their natural environments, differ greatly in cemetery design. To illustrate this difference, this paper analyzes Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery and New Orleans's St. Roch Cemetery. Through a comparison study and an overview of the historical contexts in which these two cemeteries were constructed, this paper seeks to both explore the practical and functional aspects of their designs and to gain insight into their cultural and ideological inspirations. The study indicates that Bonaventure Cemetery was created in the spirit of the 19th centuryAmerican Rural Cemetery Movement which endorsed burial in a rural idyll with “nature” as a model. The origins of the design of St. Roch, on the other hand, seem to have been more diffuse. This cemetery's design appears to have resulted from a blending of French and Spanish cultural roots, Catholic tradition and the unique hydrological circumstances present in New Orleans. A review of these results then leads to a discussion of what cultural values the respective cemetery designs reflect.

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