Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery, with its underground population of 560,000 (including many celebrities), is about to reach capacity and looking to expand. But the new space won’t be for the dead: the city has just given Green-Wood approval to purchase, renovate and convert into a visitors’ center and museum the landmarked but dilapidated McGovern-Weir Florist building across Fifth Avenue on the corner of 25th Street.
In July the Times revealed that the cemetery wanted to convert the flower shop into a welcome center with historic displays. Today Brownstoner reports that the City Council has approved sale of the building to Green-Wood.
A Historic Districts Council statement on the decision notes that “the public approval was necessary because of a state law involving cemetery usage.” Of course, “cemetery usage” in this case doesn’t mean, you know, cemetery usage, but rather that the building will serve Green-Wood’s function as a tourist destination, doubling as a visitors’ center and exhibition space. Meanwhile, people coming for actual “cemetery usage” will have to go a little further to get flowers.