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Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis

#3 of 10 in Historic Sites in Indianapolis
Cemetery · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Crown Hill Cemetery is a historic rural cemetery located at 700 West Thirty-Eighth Street in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. The privately owned cemetery was established in 1863 at Strawberry Hill, whose summit was renamed "The Crown", a high point overlooking Indianapolis. It is approximately 2.8 miles (4.5 km) northwest of the city's center. Crown Hill was dedicated on June 1, 1864, and encompasses 555 acres (225 ha), making it the third largest non-governmental cemetery in the United States. Its grounds are based on the landscape designs of Pittsburgh landscape architect and cemetery superintendent John Chislett Sr. and Adolph Strauch, a Prussian horticulturalist. In 1866 the U.S. government authorized a U.S. National Cemetery for Indianapolis. The 1.4-acre (0.57 ha) Crown Hill National Cemetery is located in Section 10.

Crown Hill contains 25 miles (40 km) of paved road, over 150 species of trees and plants, over 200,000 graves, and services roughly 1,500 burials per year. Crown Hill is the final resting place for individuals from all walks of life, from political and civic leaders to ordinary citizens, infamous criminals, and unknowns. Benjamin Harrison, twenty-third president of the United States, and Vice Presidents Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas A. Hendricks, and Thomas R. Marshall are buried at Crown Hill. Infamous bank robber and "Public Enemy #1" John Dillinger is another internee. The gravesite of Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley overlooks the city from "The Crown".

In the book (and later a movie adaptation of the same) The Fault In Our Stars, the charismatic, philosophic love interest Augustus Waters is buried at Crown Hill in a gravesite facing 38th Street.

Many of the cemetery's mausoleums, monuments, memorials, and structures were designed by architects, landscape designers, and sculptors such as Diedrich A. Bohlen, George Kessler, Rudolf Schwarz, Adolph Scherrer, and the architectural firms of D. A. Bolen and Son and Vonnegut and Bohn, among others. Works by contemporary sculptors include David L. Rodgers, Michael B. Wilson, and Eric Nordgulen.

The cemetery's administrative offices, mortuary, and crematorium are located at Thirty-eighth and Clarenden streets on the cemetery's north grounds. Crown Hill's Waiting Station, built in 1885 at its east entrance on Thirty-fourth Street and Boulevard Place, serves as a meeting place for tours and programs. The Crown Hill Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit corporation established in 1984, raises funds to preserve the cemetery's historic buildings and grounds. Crown Hill Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 28, 1973.
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Crown Hill Cemetery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
284 reviews
  • The staff was so professional with my cousins funeral with this pandemic going on,they made sure it was minimal guest inside.  more »
  • Absolutely stunning the trees with their changing leaves were so pretty. Great walking/exercise. Recommend a trip over to see it.  more »
  • An absolutely breathtakingly beautiful place. Definitely worth a visit lots of history and beauty in this grave yard!
  • The time that I spent there during a loved ones funeral was met with staff who were ineffectual and inept. When I presented a manager with an issue I was met with an attitude to what I surmise was haste, non-response, and disappearance (because I did not see them for the rest of the visitation and service.) I was then given to a manager higher up and a guy more stuffy and full of words that, words were less spun in Shakespeare then in the response I received (and nothing was still done). The fact that a menial concern was not dealt with leads me to believe that they cannot even do the most simple of task (like the one I was concerned with) without ignoring it immediately. Once at the cemetery the staff there were great and caring including the grave people. Not sure why the two can't align those things so people won't have to be angry to the point of sickness. I would never recommend the funeral home to anyone.

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