This thesis explores the building history of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, established 1833. The historic cemetery, located in what is now the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, but has continued to experience preservation issues concerning its traditional above-ground tombs and other landscape features.
By investigating the building methods and background of the historic craftsmen who helped develop Lafayette No. 1, the cemetery will be better understood and, thus, better preserved. A combination of structural surveys and archival research, this thesis constructs a dimensional portrait not only of specific craftsmen, but also of their remaining tombs and carved tablets.
Methods employed include a comprehensive database of all work signed by a tomb builder or stone cutter currently present in Lafayette No. 1, from which comparisons regarding construction method, style, materials, and clientele background were drawn. From the nearly three dozen names identified through research and survey, a number of individuals are elaborated upon through documentary research and in-depth study of remaining in situ work. These craftsmen include Gottlieb Huber, Hugh J. McDonald, James Hagan, and H. Lowenstein.
Patterns in construction, style, materials, and clientele within different periods of the cemetery's one hundred and eighty year history were distinguished in the course of research. Understanding such methods and traditions will equip preservation groups with a more substantial foundation from which to maintain these structures.