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University of Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Carriage Gates of Westminster Burying Ground

 
 
The Carriage Gates of Westminster Burying Ground Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
1. The Carriage Gates of Westminster Burying Ground Marker
Inscription.  
Westminster's carriage gates, completed in 1815, were among the nation's first examples of Egyptian Revival architecture. Commissioned by the First Presbyterian Church, the gates were designed by Maximilian Godefroy (1765-ca.1840), a French architect who spent 15 productive years in Baltimore.

Godefroy's gates signaled the growing sophistication of this formerly austere Presbyterian burying ground (est. 1786), and anticipated shift toward a more romantic view of death and mourning. The new entrance also created a prominent east-west corridor (now obscured by the church) that was soon lined with stylish burial vaults - several designed by Godefroy himself.

Maximilian Godefroy's other surviving local work includes St. Mary's Chapel, First Unitarian Church, and the Battle Monument.

[illustration]
Death and Eternity Godefroy's skillful combination of Egyptian and classical symbols imparted a very direct and enduring message: while we mourn the brevity of life, we should also celebrate the eternity of the spirit. The wrought iron gates feature a Greek key border and three lachrymal urns
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(symbols of grief) while the sandstone piers are unmistakably Egyptian. The obelisks (monuments to the dead) contain carved relief of winged hour glasses (time's swift flight), all topped by cavetto cornices. The brick wall running along Greene Street was built at the same time as the gates.

Entrance to Westminster Cemetery Green Street by Edward J. Wunder
From Maryland Institute… Announcement Schools of Art and Design 1914-1915
First & Franklin Street Presbyterian Church Archives.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureCemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Unitarian Universalism (UUism) series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1815.
 
Location. 39° 17.391′ N, 76° 37.418′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. It is in University of Maryland. Marker is on North Greene Street, on the left when traveling south. Marker is on the grounds of Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 519 West Fatyette Street, Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Infusing Style and Sophistication: The Influence of Maximilian Godefroy (here, next to this marker); The Gilmors (a few steps from this marker); Bernard von Kapff
Entrance to Westminster Cemetery Green Street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
2. Entrance to Westminster Cemetery Green Street
by Edward J. Wunder
Close-up of image on marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Local Hero, National Leader (within shouting distance of this marker); Believe it or Not (within shouting distance of this marker); James McHenry (within shouting distance of this marker); “…a truly affectionate wife” (within shouting distance of this marker); An 18th-Century Burying Ground (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Max. Godefroy image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
3. Max. Godefroy
Archt of Battle Monument
Rembt Peale Pinxt
This c. 1815 portrait of Maximilian Godefroy by Rembrandt Peale hangs in the Maryland Historical Society Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
The gates image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
4. The gates
As seen from Greene Street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
5. As seen from Greene Street
Decaying Sandstone Detail image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, September 5, 2015
6. Decaying Sandstone Detail
Westminster Cemetery Gates
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 26, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,796 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 30, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   2, 3. submitted on September 19, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4, 5. submitted on March 30, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   6. submitted on September 19, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Mar. 2, 2024