Save Our Cemeteries preserves and protects the historic cemeteries of New Orleans, and fosters a public appreciation for their historical, cultural, and architectural value.
In 1974, the Archdiocese of New Orleans* announced a plan to destroy the wall vaults surrounding St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 and replace them with a chain-link fence. The preservation community was incensed.
Save Our Cemeteries was created in response to this threat, but the organization quickly realized the problem of cemetery neglect was not limited to just one cemetery.
Key accomplishments of Save Our Cemeteries include:
- Securing historic designation for St. Louis Cemeteries No. 1 and No. 2, and Odd Fellows Rest, maximizing their potential for future funding.
- Introducing successful legislation for the creation of a statewide trust fund for historic cemetery preservation.
- Partnering with the Historic New Orleans Collection to collect and record historic tombstones from St. Louis Cemeteries No. 1 and No. 2.
- Surveying Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and creating a preservation plan.
- Recording the tablets of St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 for future genealogical research, in partnership with Xavier University.
- Introducing over 20,000 visitors to our historic cemeteries through our cemetery tour program
- Hosting over 50 lectures or workshops in cemetery history, culture and preservation
- Completing millions of dollars worth of capital improvements in the cemeteries, including:
- repairs to the French Society tomb in St. Louis No. 1
- repairs to over 80 tombs in Lafayette No. 1, including the Jefferson Fire Company and Chalmette Fire Company society tombs
- stabilization and repairs to the wall vaults surrounding St. Louis No. 2
- stabilization and repairs to the wall vaults along the main entrance to Lafayette No. 1
- stabilization and repairs to the wall vaults surrounding Odd Fellows Rest
- a monument honoring war veterans buried in Holt Cemetery
- a conditions survey and GIS map of St. Louis No. 1, and stabilization of 35 tombs in imminent danger of collapse (in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania and Save America’s Treasures)
*Today, the Archdiocese is one of the greatest partners of Save Our Cemeteries in our quest to preserve & protect the cemeteries, and the wall vaults surrounding St. Louis No. 2 have been stabilized and repaired.