Lake View Cemetery: National Landmark and CLE Must-See

by | Aug 29, 2018 | Public Spaces, Parks & Recreation

Kathy Goss, Pres/CEO of Lake View Cemetery, shares stories with EA staff.

Monday, August 20, 2018: The EA team spent the morning at Lake View Cemetery, one of the most beautiful spots in Cleveland. We gather for monthly outings to explore different parts of NE Ohio and to keep our staff members educated about the most current info to share with those considering a move to NE Ohio. We call these gatherings EA University!

Lake View’s 150th anniversary is upcoming, and we thought it was time to learn a bit more about the cemetery’s 285 acres that spill into three cities (Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and East Cleveland). Lake View’s President and CEO Kathy Goss gave us a tour of the grounds.

If you’ve had the opportunity to travel to Europe, chances are your sightseeing included at least one cemetery filled with beautiful sculptures and landscaped gardens. Those cemeteries heavily influenced the industrialists who founded Cleveland and had the luxury of traveling abroad in the 18th century. Traditionally, cemeteries were located behind local churches; but when cities became crowded and health concerns grew, they began migrating outbound to large tracts of land so they wouldn’t impede city development.  When Jeptha Wade identified the potential spot for Lake View, most thought that the day-long drive out to University Circle was too far to be practical; but fast forward 150 years . . . and it’s in the center of one of Cleveland’s most beautiful hubs and provides a lovely green space the size of a golf course. Jeptha was the first president of Lake View, and Wade Chapel was built in his honor by a grandson.

EA team taking a tour of Lake View Cemetery.

Most cemeteries are religious based, but Lake View is open to all walks of life and every religion. The grounds are open and free for the public to visit. It is open 365 days a year from 7:30 am until dusk (the cemetery’s buildings have a slightly different schedule). There are guides inside Wade Chapel and US President James Garfield’s memorial April through November.

There are a few misconceptions regarding Lake View Cemetery. People mistakenly believe that it is only for the wealthy, but they have many affordable options. People assume that the grounds are full, but they have 75-100 more years of capacity. People often think that the cemetery is for Caucasian Protestants. Nope, the cemetery is very multicultural and has every ethnicity and religion represented on the grounds.

Kathy shared a great visitor tip with us. If you are new to the grounds, just follow the white line painted on the road and it will take you on one big loop from the Mayfield Road Gate to the Euclid Avenue Gate. You will pass by Millionaires’ Row gravesites, Wade Chapel, and the James A. Garfield Memorial. Follow the line, and you won’t get lost on those windy roads! A Lake View Cemetery app will also be rolling out within the next few weeks to assist you on your walk.

Inside Tiffany-designed Wade Chapel.

While walking the grounds, visit the must-see Wade Chapel. It is truly an experience. You will see one of the few fully-outfitted Louis Comfort Tiffany rooms in the entire world. Every mosaic tile, bench, lamp, and stained glass window was designed by Tiffany, and it is breathtaking. Behind (or nearby) Wade Chapel is a gorgeous pond (we saw a family picnicing there) with many historic and iconic Cleveland gravesites including:

Alan Freed’s gravesite… the man who coined the words “rock and roll.”

Mementos left at Alan Freed’s marker included guitar picks and rocks.

Eliot Ness’s gravemarker, mementos include a Matchbox-sized police car.

Writing utensils left by fans on graphic novelist Harvey Pekar’s grave.

Lake View’s 150th anniversary will be celebrated in many ways, including Lake View’s first ever public art installation with the help of LANDStudio and many partnerships with nearby institutions such as Karamu House.

If you are thinking about visiting, check out their website for walks, talks, tours, and events. And, for $25 you can take a trolley tour any Sunday at 1:00 pm Spring through Fall (reservations are suggested). No bicycles are allowed due to safety concerns (Lake View’s maintenance trucks can’t see bikers zipping around corners), but dog walkers are welcome.

At Executive Arrangements, we are constantly educating ourselves about all things Northeast Ohio so we have the best info to share with your company’s recruits and new hires. Does your company need help showcasing our region? Call us: 216.231.9311.