Lake View Cemetery and Little Italy, Cleveland

A little bit of a latecomer in the Rural Cemetery Movement, Lake View Cemetery was founded in 1869, east of downtown Cleveland on rugged, steep terrain.

While due to the growth of the city and mature trees, the name comes from what had once been a commanding view of Lake Erie.

The grounds are lush, and what perhaps is different from other cemeteries I’ve visited is the large amount of evergreen trees and bushes compared to deciduous trees, the latter of which of course lost their leaves in the winter.

The framing of mausolea and gravestones with those evergreen species is done to great and successful effect in Lake View.

The view above reminds me of Paestum, while the pose of the lion below goes back to Antiquity; there is a famous chimera in Florence in that composition.

There is an abundance of human sculpture, as well.

One of the most famous monuments in the cemetery is the James A. Garfield Mausoleum, which was closed for renovation when I visited.

I stopped in Little Italy for lunch. There had just been a large festival in the community the day before, so most businesses were closed, but I did find a place for an excellent panino.

Holy Rosary Church is the anchor of the community.

The architecture of the area is typical of Cleveland, with lots of two family houses where the first floor unit is in the front, and the second floor is entered halfway down the right side.

I really liked this apartment building, the Italia.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. L.R. Merritt-Mervine says:

    Thank you for taking such a striking photo of my husband’s grave. Lake View Cemetery still has a view of Lake Erie from the area of Rockefeller’s grave and an amazing view from the (currently closed for renovations) platform on President Garfield’s monument. Little Italy is in such close proximity to Lake View Cemetery because of Giuseppe (Joseph) Carabelli. Carabelli was a stonecutter who came from Italy (by way of NYC) in 1880 and built many of the monumental works at Lake View, while simultaneously fostering the growth of Little Italy. Carabelli’s future generations continued in the stonecutting business–Johns-Carabelli Company created the base of our monument in 2019 (I commission our angel separately from Vermont artist Joe Lupiani). As for your downtown photos, Tom L. Johnson, became a member of Congress around the time of Carabelli’s arrival and served as Cleveland Mayor from 1901 until 1909. Mayor Johnson, a Progressive, was credited with revitalizing and reshaping the City for the benefit of all. What an interesting blog, thank you for sharing.

    1. cnaffziger says:

      Thank you for reaching out. And that makes sense that the Italians in Cleveland were renowned for their stonecutting ability!

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