After more than four decades, historic Oakland Cemetery will once again have a functioning greenhouse, thanks to the Buckhead Men’s Garden Club, the Atlanta History Center and other partners.
The Cyclorama’s impending move from Grant Park to the Atlanta History Center campus required the Buckhead Men’s Garden Club (BMGC), so the organization offered the structure to Historic Oakland Foundation (HOF) in hopes that the cemetery could utilize it.
With the help of History Center, the City of Atlanta Department of Parks & Recreation, the Urban Design Commission, Georgia State University, and other groups and private donors, Oakland Cemetery will relocate and reconstruct the 50-foot by 30-foot greenhouse this summer.
Once erected, the greenhouse will serve a very important purpose at the cemetery. Primarily, gardens staff will no longer be limited to growing temperature-specific varieties of plants. Instead, the greenhouse will facilitate the growth of plants historically found at Oakland.
After HOF’s establishment in 1976, plans were made to restore the greenhouse and other cemetery structures that had fallen into disrepair. However, that project did not come to fruition and brick walls are all that remain of the greenhouse today.
Fortunately, the BMGC greenhouse fits perfectly in those existing walls. This allows Oakland’s preservation team to restore function to the greenhouse while retaining its historic features and meeting preservation standards.
“Having a working greenhouse will give us the opportunity to properly interpret this important part of our history. It will also open up other possibilities, from a more diverse palette of Victorian-era plants to the ability to hold classes and workshops,” said Sara Henderson, director of gardens at HOF.