Press Releases

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Woodlawn Cemetery Introduce English and Spanish Audio Tours of the Historic Cemetery on Seventh Anniversary of Death of Queen of Salsa Celia Cruz

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and The Friends of The Woodlawn Cemetery introduced English and Spanish audio tours of the historic Woodlawn Cemetery, so that visitors can enjoy self guided tours of the historic 147 year old Bronx cemetery. The audio tour was unveiled as part of a commemoration of the seventh anniversary of the passing of "La Guarachera de Cuba” the “Queen of Salsa”, Cuban Born salsa singer, Celia Cruz who recorded twenty-three gold albums.

Borough President Diaz holds a map of the Woodlawn Cemetery in one hand and a listening device for the Cemetary's brand new audio tours in the other. Both are now available to visitors.

The project was made possible through a grant from the NYC & Company Foundation to the Friends of Woodlawn Cemetery which was supported by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. The project was arranged for by The Bronx Tourism Council which helped to produce it. The Council is a program of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC).

“Woodlawn Cemetery is one of our most important cultural institutions and is a rich source of information on people who helped shape our city and country,” said Borough President Diaz. “This audio tour will make it more inviting and manageable for tourists, as well as locals, to fully appreciate the historical treasure it represents.”

“The Woodlawn Cemetery is pleased to be able to provide a unique and personal way for our visitors to add meaning to their visit,” said John P. Toale Jr., President and CEO of The Woodlawn Cemetery. “The narration about the architecture which defines Woodlawn and the unique biographical stories of the men and women that are buried here will provide for an educational, inspirational and moving visit.”

Established in 1863, the cemetery’s cultural significance is represented in the famous names that grace its monuments and mausoleums: Herman Melville, FW Woolworth, JC Penny, Jay Gould, Ralph Bunche, Fiorello LaGuardia, Robert Moses, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Duke Ellington, RH Macy, Miles Davis, Bat Masterson and Joseph Pulitzer. 

The audio tour which will cost five dollars will also highlight the architectural works of acclaimed architects Charles McKim, William Rutherford Mead, Stanford White, John Merven Carrère, Thomas Hastings and John Russell Pope who designed some of Woodlawn’s 1700  significant monuments and mausoleums. The Woodlawn Cemetery features 400 acres of rolling hills, spectacular trees and shrubbery, mausoleums and memorials of historic and artistic significance and a natural fauna/flora sanctuary. 

“This service will give tourists who come to New York City a compelling additional reason to visit the Bronx,” said Brian Sahd, Executive Director of the Friends of Woodlawn. “Many of   the tens of thousands who visit The Woodlawn Cemetery annually discover Woodlawn on their own -- with the audio tour, these visitors can have access to an expert personal guide of Woodlawn.” 

The Woodlawn Cemetery has provided burial space for more than 300,000 individuals. Established as a non-sectarian cemetery, people of all races, cultures and religions are at rest in the 400-acre historic site. For over 147 years, The Woodlawn Cemetery has served the greater metropolitan New York region and continues to serve families and individuals while protecting the beauty and design of the 1868 Landscape-Lawn Plan.

Located just thirty minutes from Manhattan, and just below Westchester County, The Woodlawn Cemetery is easily accessible by railroad, subway and primary roadways. We welcome visitors to enjoy the peaceful setting, artistic treasures and to remember those in our care. The Woodlawn Cemetery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Our Administrative Office is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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