Cleveland photographer Barney Taxel has spent over a decade, during all seasons, exploring this stunning landmark. The culmination of this personal project is a collection of over two hundred photographs that reveal the spirit and essence of the Lake View Cemetery. He captures unusual images of the famous Garfield Monument and Wade Chapel and reveals the artistic splendors of the landscape, stonework, and memorials. The Lake View Cemetery: Photographs from Cleveland’s Historic Landmark also includes a history of the Lake View Cemetery based on archival research and meditations on time, place, and nature.
The Lake View Cemetery, founded in 1869, was modeled after the great garden cemeteries of Victorian England and France. Over 107,000 individuals are interred on the sprawling 285 acre expanse that is located four and one-half miles from Cleveland’s Public Square. According to an 1870 Plain Dealer report, the cemetery was designed to combine all the attractive features that “nature and true art can produce” to harmonize nature’s alphabet—“stone, earth, wood and water.” The landscape was laid out with broad avenues and shady walks “near the fountains in view of many a rustic pile [edifice] and quiet grave and stately monument.” The cemetery became the burial place for many of Cleveland’s prominent citizens including President James A. Garfield, John D. Rockefeller, and J. H. Wade.