Will a Visitors’ Center Lure Tourists to Green-Wood?

We missed the Brooklyn Daily story yesterday about Green-Wood Cemetery’s pending purchase of of the landmark McGovern-Weir Florist building that talked about how the cemetery’s motivation for buying and renovating the structure has to do with making Green-Wood more attractive to tourists: “Even with its history, the 173-year-old cemetery just south of Prospect Park hasn’t been a huge tourist draw since the horse-and-buggy days — though in recent years, the cemetery has reached out to a new audience with tours and site-specific dance pieces.” The cemetery intends to turn the building into a visitors’ center and museum. Meanwhile, Aaron Brashear of the Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights is quoted as saying that he thinks renovating the long-dilapidated structure on 25th Street and 5th Avenue will be “a win for both the neighborhood and the cemetery.” The sale of the building hasn’t made it to public records yet, but it was listed for $1,500,000 along with an adjacent wood-frame house. We wonder how much a thorough renovation is going to cost.
Green-Wood’s New Gateway? [Brooklyn Daily]
City Council Approves Sale of Landmark Florist Building [Brownstoner]
Landmark Greenwood Florist Building in Contract [Brownstoner]
Landmarked Florist Building Up For Sale [Brownstoner] GMAP

10 Comment

  • Well, those 50 million tourists (according to NY Mag) have to go somewhere, and not all of them want to hang out in Times Square. I don’t see this to be as far-fetched an idea as the Brooklyn Daily makes it out to be.

  • I LOVE that building…it’s one of those ‘if i win the lottery’ dream renovations. I look forward to seeing it done. I hope they reinstate some of the grandure it appears to have had.

  • actually, i think they do want to hang in in Times Sq.
    I love Green-Wood though but it’s not on the international map
    and anyone coming here from almost anywhere in the world is way more curious about Times Sq.

  • Interestingly, cemetery tours in other major world cities such as Paris and Venice are definitely tourist attractions. I do not think it is too far fetched to think this could happen at Greenwood.

    • Nothing far fetched about it…they have been doing walking tours, trolley tours (now weekly), special events, book talks, etc. for years. Big push was in the past few years. They have a very interesting spring/summer/fall schedule.

      The florist purchase makes logical sense as they need an initial destination to engage visitors before they enter, not to mention school groups.

      The presentation they gave at Brooklyn CB7 was well though out.

  • Greenwood was designed to be a tourist destination. It is a romantic landscape that is located on an historic site that is the highest point in the Boro. The potential for nature hikes and botanical tours as well as architectural and historic tours of the monuments and “residents” makes it interesting. Having a visitors center with a cafe, rest rooms, and orientation sessions is a great idea. Greenwood is like Prospect Park without the crowds or the speeding cyclists.

  • I love Green-Wood and have been there a bunch of times over the past year for tours, readings, etc. I think the location is a tough sell, especially for tourists. The R train is slow and local, there are no other tourist destinations nearby, and the area is not especially developed or pretty. I think a vistors’ center will help, but only a bit. As someone who lives nearby, I’m psyched about that building being renovated. It is awesome.

  • I love Greenwood. How about setting up a cannon near the statue of Minerva and visitors can fire a cannonball at buildings that distrupt the sightline between Minerva and the Statue of Liberty?

  • Greenwood is a destination for many people – there are regular tours, cultural events such as movies, readings, and historical lectures. Paul Auster gave a reading there last week. Where else in NY can you see the final resting place of Joey Gallo and Henry Chadwick, among many others of note?