Saving Our Cities of the Dead
Save Our Cemeteries has spent millions of dollars on improvements to local cemeteries since its founding in 1974.
Photographs by Cheryl Gerber
On a fall day Juliette Hotard, restoration and volunteer coordinator for Save Our Cemeteries, is hard at work doing what she does best — evaluating the condition of tombs and mausoleums across the city. In this case its the French Butcher’s Society Tomb at Lafayette No. 2 Cemetery. The tomb is marked as the next major restoration project of Save Our Cemeteries, the only nonprofit in New Orleans focused on restoration of New Orleans “cities of the dead.”
Armed with a graduate degree in historic preservation from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, Hotard researches the history of each tomb, checks its integrity and makes a list of what needs to be done. That list is then sent out as an RFP to local construction companies that specialize in this type of restoration.
For more information on Save Our Cemeteries, including details on the organization’s upcoming annual gala, All Saints Soirée, on Nov. 9., visit SaveOurCemeteries.org.