Memorial: SOC Founder Mary Louise Christovich passes away at age 89

MLC

Mary Louise Mossy Christovich, Founder of Save Our Cemeteries

1928-2017

Dear Save Our Cemeteries Supporters and Friends:

It is with a heavy heart that SOC announces the passing of our wonderful and accomplished founder, Mary Louise Christovich.

Mrs. Christovich long exemplified an extraordinary level of commitment to historic preservation.  In 1974, a plan was introduced to demolish the fragile and crumbling wall vaults surrounding St. Louis Cemetery No. 2. Mrs. Christovich’s passion and love for the history and architecture of our local cemeteries motivated her to form a group of like-minded citizens to advocate against the proposal. After a long and hard battle, these wall vaults were not only saved, her newly formed organization, Save Our Cemeteries, raised the funds to stabilize and restore them.

Her group soon realized the need to preserve and protect all of New Orleans’ historic cemeteries and today, Save Our Cemeteries remains the only non-profit organization in the city solely dedicated the preservation, promotion, and protection of the historic cemeteries of New Orleans.

Mrs. Christovich was not only a preservation advocate, she was an educator, philanthropist, and author of six publications focusing on historic architecture in New Orleans. Her most recent publication Garden Legacy is a beautifully written and visually stunning account of the history of the French-American tradition of landscape design and horticultural study.

She also served as a board member and volunteer for many local community groups and non-profits, including The Historic New Orleans Collection, the Louisiana State Museum, Friends of the Cabildo, the Louisiana Council for the Vieux Carre, the Central Business District Improvement Association, Louisiana Landmarks Society, and Preservation Resource Center.

Mrs. Christovich’s achievements are numerous. She was a treasure to the people of New Orleans and all of Louisiana, and an inspiration and great mentor to me during my time here at Save Our Cemeteries. The Board, staff, and I are fortunate and honored to continue on with her good work.

We shall miss you dearly, Mary Lou.

Sincerely,
Amanda Walker, Executive Director                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 & the Board and Staff at Save Our Cemeteries

A memorial ceremony for Mrs. Christovich will take place on Wednesday, January 3, 2017, at noon, at The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street, in the French Quarter.

 

Afternoon Tours in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 starting June 1st!

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We’re excited to share that beginning June 1, 2017, we will be offering tours in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 at 1:00 pm daily, in addition to our 10:30 am tours.

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is located in the historic Garden District of New Orleans. It is among the city’s earliest and most significant above-ground burial sites. Once part of the Livaudais Plantation, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 was designated a city burial site in 1833, and has been in continuous use since.

Distinguished by its intersecting avenues designed to accommodate funeral processions, it was the City’s first planned cemetery. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places by virtue of its significant history, location, and architectural importance, it retains its original size and configuration, and contains a variety of tomb types and styles.

Volunteers Needed: Chalmette National Cemetery, December 17th

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Wreaths Across America will once again honor troops buried at national cemeteries—including Chalmette National Cemetery—by placing evergreen wreaths at headstones on Saturday, December 17, 2016. Learn how you can help at the link (search for Chalmette National Cemetery or the national cemetery closest to you): http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/#join-us

Annual Membership Meeting: December 8, 2016

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Please join the staff, Board of Directors, and fellow members for socialization and celebration of SOC’s accomplishments in 2016!

To be held Tuesday, December 8, 2016 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the

Lousiana Endowment for the Humanities
938 Lafayette Street, New Orleans, LA 70113

Members will vote on the new slate of board members and be presented with the Annual Report by the President of Save Our Cemeteries. An awards ceremony and the honoring of outgoing board members will follow.

Food and beverages will be provided.

For more information, call Save Our Cemeteries office at (504) 525 – 3377.

SOC’s next “Tombs by Twilight” tour is Saturday, October 22nd!

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Photo credited to Stephanie Ryan Cameron.

Have you joined us for our “Tombs by Twilight” tour? Our next tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 at dusk will be conducted on Saturday, October 22nd  at 5:30 PM – we hope you’ll join us!

Save Our Cemeteries has partnered with New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries to provide a unique walking tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 at dusk. This exclusive evening cemetery tour departs from Richard Fiske’s Martini Bar (RF’s) at the Chateau LeMoyne Hotel. After a guided tour of the cemetery, guests return to the hotel lounge for complimentary drinks, appetizers, and post-tour socializing.

Founded in 1789 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is located just steps outside of the French Quarter at the corner of St. Louis and Basin Streets. It is the final resting place of some of the most illustrious citizens of New Orleans, including Etienne de Bore, pioneer in sugar development; Daniel Clark, financial supporter of the American Revolution; Paul Morphy, world famous chess champion; and other local and national figures.

Notable structures include the famed oven wall vaults, the supposed tomb of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, and the magnificent tombs of the French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish societies.

The oldest existing cemetery in New Orleans, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is a maze of wall vaults, family tombs, and society tombs that artistically showcase the unique burial customs and traditions of New Orleans.

Save Our Cemeteries is the only non-profit in New Orleans that offers cemetery tours. A portion of the proceeds from your tour ticket price will go directly towards cemetery restoration in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

Tour is only available to persons 21 years of age and older. Ticket price is $45.00 per person, and advance reservations are required.

To make your reservation: www.saveourcemeteries.org/exclusive-tombs-by-twilight-tour/