New Wave features Heather Knight, MPS '06, in "Preserving St. Louis Cemetery No. 1"

David Armentor

Mar 3, 2015
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Preserving St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

March 2, 2015
Sally Asher

Since the late 1700s, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 has been open to the public. Over the centuries it has withstood disasters (both manmade and natural), witnessed devastating epidemics and welcomed the city’s cultural traditions such as the rhythms of jazz funerals and the festive solemnity of All Saints Day. 

Unfortunately, the final resting place of many of New Orleans’ citizens spanning the ages has faced vandalism. The desecration of graves has reached such a zenith that last month the Archdiocese of New Orleans declared that on March 1, 2015, it would begin limiting entrance to family members and will allow tourist access only through tour guides registered with the Archdiocesan cemetery office. 

Heather Knight, an adjunct assistant professor at Tulane University who teaches the Tulane Interdisciplinary Experience Seminar(TIDES) course, New Orleans’ Cities of the Dead, and serves on the board of Save Our Cemeteries as co-vice-president of restoration, believes that New Orleans cemeteries are cultural and architectural legacies. 

“They reflect how architectural styles, iconography and building technologies evolved from the 18th century forward,” Knight said. “Preserving, maintaining and protecting them from vandalism and theft is at the core of Save Our Cemeteries’ mission.”

MPS - Master in Preservation Studies
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