Laurel Hill Cemetery was the first architecturally designed cemetery in the country.
Laurel Hill Cemetery was laid out on a series of winding paths above the Schuylkill River in 1836 — intended to not only be a non-denominational burial place, but also a scenic sanctuary for the living.
It lays claim to being the first architecturally designed cemetery in the country.
Laurel Hill became the cemetery of the elite and was a popular burial place for Civil War generals, including George Meade, the Union victor at Gettysburg. Victims from the Titanic are also buried here.
West Laurel Hill opened after Laurel Hill started becoming too crowded.
A monthly walking tour of the cemetery — aptly named Hot Spots and Storied Plots — gives visitors the can’t-miss inside scoop on some of the folks buried there.
Also, don’t miss out on exploring the great architecture of many of the tombstones and mausoleums. The William Warner tomb at Laurel Hill, designed by Alexander Milne Calder, the sculptor of the William Penn statue atop City Hall, shows the soul coming out of the tomb in a puff of smoke.
In the warmer months, guests can even enjoy yoga classes or run the annual RIP 5K through the cemetery.