The Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation and its Mission

The founding of Cypress Lawn can be traced back to a serendipitous carriage ride.

Our founder, Hamden Holmes Noble, happened to be riding past San Francisco’s Laurel Hill Cemetery. This cemetery had recently transitioned from a source of pride to an eyesore, as San Francisco’s land-hungry residents began turning against cemeteries.

It was during this carriage ride when Noble’s friend urged him to create a solution to the problem.

It was in 1892 when Noble led a group of civic-minded men to create Cypress Lawn. What became our beautiful Memorial Park was established a dozen miles south of San Francisco — a safe distance from the political reach of the city. This was important because officials later passed a law “evicting” the dead from San Francisco. Because of this, over 35,000 people were later reinterred at Cypress Lawn.

Fast forward to today, and all of us still care passionately about maintaining and preserving this Bay Area treasure for the next century — and beyond.

Not only does Cypress Lawn serve as a serene and beautiful resting place for the loved ones of many families, but it’s also a place where our neighbors can visit to take a history tour or stop by to feed the ducks.

The Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation was created to promote educational and cultural activities and to encourage the preservation and restoration of the incomparable, art, architecture, and Arboretum located at Cypress Lawn.

Its mission is clear: To help those who love and appreciate this unique institution to support its preservation and restoration so it may serve as a rich educational experience for future generations.

Like many of you, the pandemic has prompted us to pivot. We’ve had to brainstorm new ways to serve our community. For example, you can now take a video tour of our grounds or even take a self-guided history tour using our new virtual guide.

You can support our endeavors by becoming a member of the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation — it’s easy to join this nonprofit organization, and all donations can be made quickly and easily online. There are many benefits to becoming a member, including discounts, commemorative books, and more.

Some of you may be familiar with Giving Tuesday — a tradition that occurs the week after Thanksgiving and encourages families to donate to nonprofits across the world. We hope you will consider the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation on this upcoming charitable holiday.

Cypress Lawn President and CEO Robert A. Gordon Jr. has this to say about the Heritage Foundation:

“I am but one individual, but with the hearts of a thousand like-minded souls as my co-pilots, we can achieve what few have even remotely considered. To not only restore and maintain the treasure known as Cypress Lawn in our lifetime but to conceive a dream and put into motion a plan that promises to preserve it for unborn generations.

Ambitious? Indeed. Worthwhile? Absolutely.

We’ve been handed a century-old heritage. One hundred years of relics and riches that, without attention, could quickly slip into disrepair.

The time is now. This is on our watch. That 100-year heritage deserves a 100-year vision.

We’d like to share it with you. We believe you won’t find a more noble cause on which to affix your legacy.”

Want to learn more about membership in the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation? Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time!