Cypress Lawn has a long, rich history dating back to when California first began. People come from all over the world to experience the beauty of our historical buildings, majestic stained glass, our serene arboretum, and more. If you haven’t visited Cypress Lawn yet, we hope you’ll start making your plans now, especially if you’re local to the San Francisco Bay area.
Here are a few things that should be on your “must see” list when you do come for a visit.
1.) Newall Chapel
Our Newall Chapel was built in 1893 and survived the Great Earthquake of 1906. However, it was destroyed by the 1957 temblor and later replaced by a modern-designed Newall Chapel. The stone and wood sanctuary resembles organic architecture and harmonizes with nature.
The space accommodates 180 people and offers state-of-the art audio and visual equipment so families can play video tributes paying honor to their loved ones during services and memorials.
Our arboretum really shows off Mother Nature at her very best! Featuring trees indigenous to the Northeast U.S. and northern California, you’ll find trees with decades, even a century, of growth. Scientists come from all over to study their growth and enjoy the landscape, and you can as well!
3.) Famous Graves
Cypress Lawn is where so many of California’s great men and women are laid to rest, including statesmen and celebrities. You’ll also find some buried here who could only be called infamous. People come from all over to visit their graves. If you are interested in knowing more about the legends buried at Cypress Lawn, we would encourage you visit our other blog on the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation website or take a tour.
In addition to the historical aspects of Cypress Lawn, there have been a number of recent improvements and additions in recent decades. With the addition of a funeral and cremation center, Cypress Lawn is now able to provide the highest level of quality in all aspects of funeral service, whether one’s choice is traditional burial or cremation. We have a number of specialists on staff that can help arrange receptions, private family events, memorial services, and funerals. We have also continually developed new gardens and new types of memorialization that families genuinely appreciate. And of course, in 2016, we completed a multi-million-dollar restoration of the grand Noble Chapel.
You might decide to schedule your visit when we’re having one of our free lectures or walking tours. We also hold events on special days such as Memorial Day or Ching Ming.
Recently, Samuel Burris, the long-lost leader of the Underground Railroad, was discovered resting here at Cypress Lawn. Alongside Ocea Bolden Thomas, a descendent of Burris, we held a ceremony in his honor. We invite you to watch this video commemorating the occasion and hosted by the Director of the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation, Terry Hamburg.
You can click here to get details about when we are open and closed, and also a list of guidelines we have put together for guests to ensure not only that the beauty of the park is preserved, but also that families that may be visiting their loved one’s final resting place here will feel comfortable and at peace. This is very important to us.
We’re looking forward to your visit, and if there is something specific in mind you would like to see, or have questions, we hope you will reach out to us.
Have you been to Cypress Lawn before? Tell us in the comments below what was the highlight of your trip.