Toward the end of 2019, I was offered the opportunity to make an even greater impact in how our cemeteries are preserved, maintained, and interpreted here in New Orleans. This opportunity will mean some changes to Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC, but I am hopeful it will open brand new doors to better preservation in New Orleans municipal cemeteries.
I have accepted the offer and have taken the position of Superintendent of Cemeteries for the City of New Orleans.
My role for the City of New Orleans will be to coordinate preservation, maintenance, interment, and other operations in the city-owned cemeteries. This means identifying priorities, honing resources, listening to the folks who care about the cemeteries, and ensuring the cemeteries are preserved and useful for the future.
Those of you who know me, and probably even some of you who do not, know that integrity and transparency are extremely important to me. Perhaps to a fault. In order to ensure that no conflicts of interest arise from this new position, Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC will no longer take new contracts for repair or restoration work in the city-owned cemeteries: Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, Lafayette Cemetery No. 2, Carrollton Cemetery No. 1 (also known as Green Street Cemetery), Carrollton Cemetery No. 2 (also known as St. Mary’s Cemetery), Valence Street Cemetery, and Holt Cemetery.
Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC will continue on in an amended capacity. I will keep up the blog and the research – there is more to write about every day and I intend to continue to feed that passion. Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC will be able to perform repair, restoration, and maintenance work in non-city-owned cemeteries both within and outside of New Orleans. As is the case for most official offices, the City cannot provide recommendations for contract work and my office will be no different; no exceptions will be made for Oak and Laurel.
For those of you who have family buried in the municipal cemeteries, I urge you to please consider me a resource in my new position. My job is to make sure you have the means and access to ensure you can be part of the history of your family resting place. My temporary email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my office phone number is (504) 658-3672.
This is a new chapter for both the city-owned cemeteries (for which there has been no superintendent for several decades) and for me. It wouldn’t be possible without the passion of tomb owners who have worked so hard to benefit the interest of the historic cemeteries. Your advocacy for your ancestors has been so deeply humbling to me for so many years. Thank you for allowing me to be part of it.
Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC