Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Photo Essay: Grand View Memorial Park - Closed to Public, Neglected, and For Sale

If there's one thing that Los Angeles ain't short on, it's cemeteries. I can't keep up. There are so many.



The best ones, of course, are those you've never heard of, tucked away in some other municipality, their signs obscured by overgrown bougainvillea...



...their gates locked.



Grand View Memorial Park in Glendale is currently closed to the public while it remains for sale...



...and the remains of the dead become submerged farther into the earth.



For those lucky enough to have grave markers above ground, their friends and families can visit them for a few hours every Sunday, when volunteers unlock the gates.



For the rest, those they left behind have to search for their headstones beneath the ground cover, brown and dry like kindling on a hot summer day.



Established in 1884, Grand View is one of the oldest cemeteries in the LA area...



...and has been officially closed since 2006.



Following some renovations, it went up for sale officially in 2011...



...but has found no buyers.



Even on days when the cemetery is open, the mausoleums are locked, and accessible only by escort.



The North Mausoleum appears to have been ripped out of the clutches of some other building...



...as it stands in place now, decaying more quickly than its deceased residents inside.



These protections are unfortunately necessary: vandals have broken in, stolen bronze grave markers, and uprooted other markers as recently as last fall.



This historic place may be preserved now...



...but its seen its darker days.



In 2005, it was discovered that remains of nearly 4000 dead were improperly disposed of and/or buried by the cemetery's own workers...



...including splitting them up, mixing them up with others, and added them to already-occupied graves.



Yikes!



No wonder there is a feeling of unrest here.



Now, with most of the graves hidden in the straw-like overgrowth, and all the buildings locked...



...what's most disturbing is the unseen...




...and the vague glimpses you can get by peering through broken glass windows, between slats and rusty frames.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Verdugo Hills Cemetery - Deteriorated, Vandalized, and Washed Away