Revitalizing the Urban Cemetery: The Waters at Holy Rood
Correll, Stephen David
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The American urban cemetery is an anachronism both as a typology and as an ideal. Between the decay of the physical cemetery infrastructure and that of the ideal of the American cemetery the typology is ripe for revitalization. The potential exists to take the site of the urban cemetery and reanimate it with people and activity while creating a place of reverence and respect. Water proves to be a powerful element with which to create a series of experiential spaces that can frame the site and prepare the visitor for the reinvigorated cemetery beyond. A procession that leads the visitor through a series of spaces, culminating in a contemporary bath building, creates both a physical and emotional transformation in the visitor. Once prepared, the visitor enters the cemetery space with a renewed appreciation for the memory inherent to the site. By invigorating the site with new meaning, one can simultaneously repair a blighted urban space, the memories of the forgotten souls therein.