News

Mourners Make First Visit to New York’s Potter’s Field

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The lonely island where New York City buries its unclaimed dead lies off the coast of the Bronx, off-limits to living mourners for so long that it has sometimes seemed like a mirage.

Read more… Mourners Make First Visit to New York’s Potter’s Field
Michael Appleton/The New York Times

New York paupers' cemetery opens to mourners for first time

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It takes a mere 10 minutes by boat to navigate to New York City's Hart Island, one of the United States' largest paupers' cemetery.

But it took Rosalee Grable more than a year to reach the gravesite where her mother was buried on the uninhabited strip of land off the city's Bronx borough.

Read more… New York paupers' cemetery opens to mourners for first time
SEBASTIEN MALO/Reuters

Hart Island's Potter's Field Opens to Relatives of Buried

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For the first time, families head to the nation's largest mass grave to visit where their loved ones are buried.

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NY1 News

Hart Island Cemetery, NYC's Potter's Field, Opens to Relatives of the Buried

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In one victory in a battle for public access to the city's potter's field. Beginning Sunday, relatives of people buried in the municipal cemetery on Hart Island will have easier access to the graves of loved ones.

Read more… Hart Island Cemetery, NYC's Potter's Field, Opens to Relatives of the Buried
Melinda Hunt/The Hart Island Project

Island of found souls as Hart Island’s potter’s field will open up

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In a fitting show of compassion for the poorest of the poor, the New York Civil Liberties Union has won the right for family members of those buried on Hart Island to visit the unmarked gravesites of loved ones.

Read more… Island of found souls as Hart Island’s potter’s field will open up
DON EMMERT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Families win access to Hart Island, NYC's potter's field

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For 24 years, Peekskill artist Melinda Hunt has spent her life documenting, charting and helping families gain access to Hart Island, where New York City has buried its anonymous and indigent dead since just after the Civil War.

Read more… Families win access to Hart Island, NYC's potter's field
Peter Carr/The Journal News

PA James on Expanded Visitation on Hart Island

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"The grieving public has been kept for far too long from getting the closure they need after a loved one is buried on Hart Island. I have pushed for expanded visitation on Hart Island because burial sites on public grounds should be open to all individuals who need to mourn. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one is aware of the undeniable importance of being able to visit their burial site." 

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New York City to Allow Visits to Grave Sites on Hart Island

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In a major policy shift governing the potter's field run by New York City for the burial of unclaimed bodies, the city has settled a lawsuit and will allow relatives to visit grave sites on Hart Island, off City Island in the Bronx.

Read more… New York City to Allow Visits to Grave Sites on Hart Island
DON EMMERT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Hart Island Opened to Family Members of Deceased Following Court Settlement

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THE BRONX — The city has agreed to allow families whose loved ones are buried on Hart Island, the city's potters field, to visit the deceased once a month, according to a settlement reached on Wednesday between the NYCLU and the city.

Read more… Hart Island Opened to Family Members of Deceased Following Court Settlement
©2008 Ian Ferance

Settlement allows families to visit graves in New York potter's field

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Families whose loved ones lie in a New York City potter's field for unclaimed bodies or those unable to afford burials will be able to visit the gravesites for the first time under a settlement announced on Wednesday.

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Families will be able to visit graves of loved ones at NYC's potter's field under settlement

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Family members of people buried at the city's potter's field of Hart Island will be allowed to visit their graves under a landmark settlement of a class-action lawsuit announced on Wednesday.

Read more… Families will be able to visit graves of loved ones at NYC's potter's field under settlement
DON EMMERT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

'Like a prison for the dead': welcome to Hart Island, home to New York City's pauper graves

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More than a million bodies are believed to be buried on Hart Island, the city’s indigent burial ground for over a century. Now one woman is trying to link families with their loved ones with ‘a sort of Facebook for the dead’

Read more… 'Like a prison for the dead': welcome to Hart Island, home to New York City's pauper graves
Adult burial marker ©1993 Melinda Hunt/The Hart Island Project

If You Die Poor or Alone in New York City, You’ll Be Buried by Prisoners in a Mass Grave

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In New York and other cities, activists are pushing back against the persistence of inequality in death, as in life.

Read more… If You Die Poor or Alone in New York City, You’ll Be Buried by Prisoners in a Mass Grave
A trench at the potter's field on Hart Island, circa 1890 (Jacob Riis/ Museum of the City of New York)

The Curious Case of Hart Island

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The Department of Corrections runs it. The Parks Department doesn’t want it. But citizens want to visit their dead.

Read more… The Curious Case of Hart Island
Hart Island (Photo by David Trawin)

The Isolated Island Where New York's Unknown and Unclaimed Are Buried

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On the third Thursday of every month at 9 AM, you can visit Hart Island, a massive potter's field in New York City, but only if you've made a reservation in advance.

Read more… The Isolated Island Where New York's Unknown and Unclaimed Are Buried
Tess Owen, Vice

Uncovering the lost names and stories of people buried in New York's Hart Island cemetery

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One of our deepest unvoiced fears in life can probably be summed up in one word: anonymity.

Read more… Uncovering the lost names and stories of people buried in New York's Hart Island cemetery
David Trawin/CC BY-SA 2.0

Traveling Cloud Museum Review

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While the subject matter may be a little shocking, and the tone is something akin to True Detective, The Hart Island Project website is pretty incredible in a design sense.

The video intro – don’t skip it – it sets the tone that is continued through out the site. And while the patented Traveling Cloud Museum over the map of the island is extremely cool, you may want to head over to The History, About, and Mission pages in the off-screen menu on the right to get a sense of why, and background for the rest of the site. The design (by Studio Airport – @Studio_AIRPORT – out of The Netherlands) is great, but the story is even more interesting.

Read more… Traveling Cloud Museum Review
The Hart Island Project

Honrando la memoria de los muertos gracias a la ‘nube’

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La artista canadiense Melinda Hunt lleva desde 1991 trabajando para hacer visible la historia de Hart Island, uno de los mayores cementerios olvidados del mundo y la mayor acumulación de fosas comunes de Estados Unidos. Ahora quiere que cualquiera lo visite de forma virtual gracias a su proyecto Hartisland.net.

Read more… Honrando la memoria de los muertos gracias a la ‘nube’
©2012 Melinda Hunt/The Hart Island Project

NYC's Hart Island: The past and future of the nation's largest mass burial ground

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In January, members of the City Council, which is considering legislation that would transfer the island's oversight to the Parks Department, visited on a guided tour.

Councilman Mark Levine, the parks committee chair, said he came away from the experience “feeling that it’s a place that more New Yorkers should be able to visit.”

Read more… NYC's Hart Island: The past and future of the nation's largest mass burial ground
©2004 Melinda Hunt/The Hart Island Project

Community Board 10 votes to support Hart Island transfer legislation

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Community Board 10 is supporting an effort calling for the transfer Hart Island, home to the city’s Potter’s Field, to the Parks Department.

Read more… Community Board 10 votes to support Hart Island transfer legislation
Community News Group / Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Events

Hart Island Master Plan - June 18th Community Input Meeting

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NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) is seeking your input and participation in a Master Plan for Hart Island. They have scheduled a public meeting to be held virtually on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024 from 6:00PM to 7:30PM.

The Master Plan is centered around the goals of improving access to the island, visitor experience, the island’s natural ecology, resiliency to severe weather events, and operations.  Register to attend 

Read more…

Past events

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