DeLissio announces $25K grant for Friends of Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries

PHILADELPHIA, June 4 – State Rep. Pam DeLissio announced that Friends of Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries was awarded a $25,000 Keystone Historic Preservation Grant for a study of the receiving vault complex at West Laurel Hill Cemetery.

The grant was one of 54 awarded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The funding awarded to Friends of Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries will be used for a study of the receiving vault complex at West Laurel Hill Cemetery – an assessment of the current structural condition of the original 1870 vault and two additional mausoleum spaces built in 1921 and 1931, along with a preservation/adaptive reuse plan. There will be a focus on areas of vulnerability to water infiltration and an assessment of stormwater management conditions.

“Beyond its service as a final resting place for thousands, West Laurel Hill is an outdoor art museum, nationally certified arboretum and recreational space for safe, public enjoyment year-round, offering 187 acres of which nearly 60,000 pedestrians and cyclists passed through in 2020,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “The ongoing care necessary to maintain and preserve a cemetery of this stature is daunting, so I was glad to support this request for funding. This planning grant is an important step toward the restoration, interpretation and adaptive reuse of one of the original and most unique architectural features of the cemetery.”

Keystone Historic Preservation Grants provide funding to support projects that identify, preserve, promote and protect historic and archaeological resources in Pennsylvania for both the benefit of the public and the revitalization of communities. Funding also helps facilitate municipal planning initiatives that focus on historic resources or may be used to meet building or community-specific planning goals. The program also supports construction activities at resources listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.