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When: Wednesday, July 27 – Wednesday, August 31
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Categorized under: Exhibitions

Laurel Cemetery Memorial Project

Informational Exhibit Currently on Display

One Charles Center, 100 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201
Courtesy of The American Institute of Architects and Baltimore Heritage

Background Information

Laurel Cemetery (1852-1958) existed for over 100 years as a nonsectarian cemetery for Baltimore’s African American community. However, the cemetery was demolished amid controversy in 1958 to make room for the development of a shopping center. This was done despite the objection of Baltimore’s African American community, who were led to believe that the human remains from the cemetery has all been exhumed and moved along with the headstones to a new site in Carroll County. Today, the Belair-Edison Crossing shopping center occupies the footprint of the old cemetery.

History of the Laurel Cemetery Project

In spring 2014, University of Baltimore and Coppin State University professors initiated the Laurel Cemetery Project as an inter-institutional project for students interested in cultural resource management, history, archaeology, and environmental sustainability. Through archaeological excavation, faculty and student researchers found conclusive evidence that burials still existed at the original site. Current efforts focus on public education, research into the lives of those buried at the site, and plans for the erection of a memorial to recognize the burial ground.

Authors & Researchers

Isaac Shearn, Ph.D.
Coppin State University
isaacshearn@gmail.com

Elgin Klugh, Ph.D.
Coppin State University
eklugh@coppin.edu

Ron Castanzo, Ph.D.
University of Baltimore
reastanzo@aiabalt.com

Baltimore Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (B.A.A.H.G.S.)