‘A historic fixture’: Pols allocate $500k in state funds for Green-Wood Cemetery’s new education center

pols announce funding for green-wood cemetery
Four state politicians worked together to allocate $500k for the construction of Green-Wood Cemetery’s new Education & Welcome Center.
Photo courtesy of Green-Wood Cemetery

A group of local elected officials has joined the effort made by Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery to raise $34 million for the construction of its new Education and Welcome Center.

In a joint effort made by four members from the New York State Assembly and Senate, $500,000 in state funds was allocated to Green-Wood Cemetery to be used to make their dream a reality.

Assembly members Robert Carroll and Marcela Mitaynes and state Senators Andrew Gounardes and Iwen Chu, each of whom represent the cemetery and its surrounding neighborhoods, presented the gift on Nov. 1. 

rendering of new education and visitor center at Green-Wood
The center, scheduled to open in 2025, will feature new exhibition space and classrooms for programming. Image courtesy of Architecture Research Office

“Today I am proud to stand with the New York State Legislature to support Green-Wood’s new Education and Welcome Center,” Mitaynes said in a statement.  “The Green-Wood Cemetery is a historic fixture of our community where we should come together to expand education and culture. I want to congratulate all those involved in the tireless effort to bring this project to fruition.”

The 20,400-square-foot education center will sit at the cemetery’s main entrance at 25th Street and 5th Avenue, welcoming visitors and allowing the organization to continue its educational programming all year long. 

Green-Wood has already successfully raised $18 million from federal, state, and local entities including $13 million from the New York City Council, the mayor’s office, and the Brooklyn Borough President.

“Green-Wood’s historical, environmental and artistic treasures are more engaging and accessible than ever and we need to continue to build on this success,” said New York State Assemblymember Robert Carroll. “I encourage everyone in Brooklyn and beyond to discover this incredible urban jewel that’s equal parts art museum, arboretum, historic landmark and final resting place.”

picture of Green-Wood education center
Green-Wood has raised $18 million to fund the construction of the $34 million center. Photo courtesy of Maike Schulz/Green-Wood Cemetery

When the center is finished in Spring 2025, it will have several new amenities for its 450,000 annual visitors to enjoy — including two exhibition galleries, a new center for scholarly research, meeting and event space for local nonprofits and community organizations, and a classroom. 

Green-Wood is the permanent home of the more than 570,000 people buried there — among them Leonard Bernstein, Jean-Michele Basquiat, and Boss Tweed. The cemetery regularly hosts artistic and educational programs from birdwatching and nature excursions to Día de los Muertos exhibitions and even concerts.

“We are deeply grateful to New York State Assemblymembers Robert Carroll and Marcela Mitaynes, and Senators Andrew Gounardes and Iwen Chu, for their generous support,” said Richard Moylan, President of The Green-Wood Cemetery. “Their commitment to Green-Wood’s capital campaign for the Education and Welcome Center is a testament to their dedication to preserve the history and culture of our community and educate future generations. We thank them for their unwavering support.”

Correction 11/14/2023, 1:28 p.m.: This story previously misstated the total amount of funding allocated by city agencies.