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Allegheny Cemetery

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1844, John Chislett; 1848 Butler Street gatehouse, John Chislett; 1868–1870, Barr and Moser; 1887 Penn Avenue gatehouse, Macomb and Dull; 1903, William Falconer. 4734 Butler St. and 4715 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville
  • Allegheny Cemetery (HABS/Traub)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

Allegheny Cemetery is one of the earliest garden cemeteries in the United States. John Chislett laid out the grounds, designed the first structures, and then remained for some years as superintendent. Inspired by Boston's Mount Auburn Cemetery, Chislett, along with Dr. James Speer and merchant Charles Avery, had promoted the idea of a “romantic” cemetery as early as 1834. The goal was to alleviate overcrowding in Pittsburgh's graveyards and create a park for a city that had none. The city now surrounds the 300-acre cemetery, but the sense of an oasis is in no way diminished.

Chislett carved the original 100 acres from John Shoenberger's country estate. Superintendent William Falconer (creator of Schenley Park) landscaped the expanded acreage around 1903, augmenting the picturesque qualities of the natural topography with artificial lakes and new planting. The cemetery's architecture is just as rich. The Butler Street gateway is in Tudor Revival, the towered chapel behind it is Gothic Revival, and the huge gatehouse on Penn Avenue is Richardsonian Romanesque. The first burial took place in 1845. Among the more memorable monuments are the Gothic Revival chapel-like mausoleum with Tiffany glass windows for James Moorhead, designed by Louis Morgenroth in 1862, and a granite tree commemorating members of the Wilkins family. Songwriter-composer Stephen C. Foster, who grew up in Lawrenceville, and actress Lillian Russell Moore are among those who rest here.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Allegheny Cemetery", [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 106-107.

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