By Joel Wallace
Below is an opening excerpt from a paper of mine in the fall of 2010. It is about a place that has both architectural and spiritual influence that can be felt, almost literally, as you enter it’s gates. Should you ever drive through my home of Louisville, KY., I hope you will take the time to visit it….
Within an area of rebuilding eclectic scenery in Louisville Kentucky, lies a piece of historic pride, pure beauty, and sacred ground. Cave Hill National Cemetery is recognized not only by local Louisvillians, but also by the National Registry of Historic Places for which it was added in 1979. From early stages of transformation from farmland to monumental garden, Cave Hill has always been seen as a place of elevating spirit. Upon entry, mature trees and winding pathways set the tone for what will appear as nearly 300 acres of undisturbed, perfectly honed nature within its fenced perimeter. The design of cemetery comes from a garden concept that was captured and executed by civil Engineer Edmond Francis Lee in the year 1846. If only the historic grounds could talk to what they have endured during their many years of settlement prior to that of their current condition. This property has seen farmers, flirtatious endeavors of quarrying stone, and has even housed the city’s Pest House, and isolated home for those suffering from eruptive and contagious disease. These transformations have only added to the story behind this sacredly respected part of city and what it means to those who frequent it. Whether it is for the burying of a loved one, or a peaceful stroll to forget life’s tensions, Cave Hill is truly a calming place that surrounds you with a pure sense of self by the experience of life, death, and everywhere in between.