HOLY SEPULCHRE CEMETERY
2461 Lake Avenue
Rochester NY 14612
Bella Morte Rating: 1 Tombstone
When Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid, Rochester's first Bishop, first came to the area, Catholics were being laid to rest in five different local cemeteries. Desiring a single place where all of the faithful could be buried, the Bishop purchased 110 acres of sandy, riverside land with the stated intention of making his new cemetery, Holy Sepulchre, "such a one as the whole Catholic body of Rochester will be proud of as the last home of their deceased family and friends."
Today, the vision, foresight and planning of Bishop McQuaid are evident in the 332 acres of Holy Sepulchre which comprise lakes, fountains, trees, walkways, thousands of ground interments, several community mausoleums, garden crypts and outdoor columbariums. The cemetery is also home to All Soul's Chapel, an English Gothic-style structure designed in 1875 by Rochester architect Andrew J. Warner. The Chapel Tower, added in 1886, was originally intended to house the cemetery's water system as well as a bell; however, the structure remained unused until the year 2000 when a bell was finally installed. Today, the base of the Chapel tower contains the remains of Bishop McQuaid and three other Bishops.
We visited Holy Sepulchre on a trip to Rochester's Mount Hope Cemetery, just 15 minutes down the road. Although we were unimpressed with the flat grounds and insufficiency of trees (at least for our tastes), we did find a few outstanding monuments. The general air of sterility and lack of gothic graveyard ambiance; however, made our stay a short one and forces us to put this cemetery on our "do not recommend" list unless you happen to be in the area and feel inspired to track down the treasures hidden here and there on the grounds.