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Brooklyn, New York

Most Holy Trinity Cemetery

A burial ground of rusting metal gravemarkers. 

The Wilson Avenue station on the L train in Bushwick overlooks a landscape of crucifixes and tombs. But it’s only once you get close that you see what makes Most Holy Trinity Cemetery unique: most every gravemarker is made of metal.

The cemetery dates to 1851, established by the then German Catholic congregation at Most Holy Trinity Church in Williamsburg. At the time New York City cemeteries had pushed out of the city limits, particularly around what is now the Queens-Brooklyn border. Most Holy Trinity Cemetery is right along Evergreens Cemetery and a whole cluster of burial grounds. 

The reason for the hollow tin graves was so that no one, either rich or poor, could stand above another in death. Originally there were also wood and some copper graves, although the first rotted away and the second were mostly stolen for scrap. Now there are some recent flat stone markers, but overall the 23 acres of the cemetery is a rolling landscape of rusting metal, twisted by time and vandalism. 

More photographs from Most Holy Trinity Cemetery are in Atlas Obscura’s story on the burial ground

Know Before You Go

Take the L train to Wilson Avenue. Went exiting turn left down Moffatt Street until you reach Central Avenue. Make a left, go under the bridge, and the cemetery is at 685 Central.

Contributed by
Allison
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