Woodland Cemetery, Cleveland

Preservation Merit Award

The Woodland Cemetery Gatehouse was originally constructed in the 1870s, the largest of the gatehouses built at three City of Cleveland cemeteries. After years of little maintenance, the structural elements eventually failed and the City of Cleveland dismantled the Woodland gatehouse beginning in 1995. The more than 1500 pieces of the stone veneer were numbered, each elevation photographed and stored on pallets on the cemetery grounds, preserving the potential for future reconstruction.

When a descendant of a Civil War soldier buried at Woodland approached Michelle Day about pursuing reconstruction of the gatehouse, she created the Woodland Cemetery Foundation in 2007 to advocate for this project with the City of Cleveland. The group connected with architect Kevin Robinette who had been involved with the reconstruction of the smaller gatehouse structures at the Erie and Monroe Street cemeteries. His experience provided a useful understanding for implementing the Woodland project.

Though some stone was further damaged or lost during the years the gatehouse materials were stored on-site, a mason inventoried the materials and determined that luckily the vast majority remained intact and usable.

Reconstruction of the gatehouse was initiated in 2019. The structure consists of two stone buildings, flanking a stone arch. Related work to complete the reconstruction included concrete foundations, site work and paving, slate roofing, fiberglass eaves, friezes entablatures and doors, and aluminum window and door frames. Exterior lighting was also installed, and a new plaza incorporates the original stone porch slabs.
Upon completion of the stonework, the stone was carefully cleaned of many years of soot from the industrial river valley. The small amount of original historic fencing was repaired and reinstalled immediately flanking the gatehouse, and new matching fencing was created to complete the streetscape along Woodland Avenue.

Our congratulations and appreciation to all recipients involved with this project for their long-term commitment to the preservation and careful reconstruction of the Woodland Cemetery Gatehouse.