Local mag Park Slope Reader has an article on Green-Wood Cemetary that contains a concise history of the scenic burial ground:
Green-Wood opened in 1838, the third rural cemetary in America. Before Central or Prospect Park were created, New Yorkers came to tour the 478-acres’ worth of well-tended parths, and by 1850 half a million visitors a year were partaking of Greenwood’s verdant lawns and meadows. By the 1960s, however, not only had visitation declined, but vandalism was rampant, the cemetary was not well-maintained, and Green-Wood closed their gates to the public.
Interesting statistic: Green-Wood performs an average of nine burials and cremations a day.
Cemetary for Living [Park Slope Reader]