Consigli Breaks Ground for New Greenhouse at Mount Auburn Cemetery


WATERTOWN, MA –Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Board of Trustees, Consigli Construction Co., Inc., William Rawn Associates and officials from Watertown and Cambridge recently gathered to break ground for Mount Auburn Cemetery’s new greenhouse at the project site in Watertown, Massachusetts. 

Founded in 1831 and recognized as one of the most significant designed landscapes in the country, inspiring the creation of the nation’s public parks, Mount Auburn Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Replacing an existing 41-year old facility, the new greenhouse will greatly reduce energy demands while improving Mount Auburn Cemetary’s ability to propagate historically and ecologically appropriate plantings for its nationally significant landscape.   Among the new facility’s features are open-roof venting, computerized climate controls, and an underground 30,000 gallon cistern for collecting water off the greenhouse roof to be used to irrigate the plants propagated inside.

Consigli Construction Co., Inc. will begin construction with the demolition of a small house, once occupied by the Cemetery’s gardener, and its existing greenhouse facility, both located along Grove Street in Watertown. The construction of the new greenhouse will begin later this summer and the project will be completed in December of this year.

Construction of the new greenhouse is the first phase in the Mount Auburn Cemetery’s long term vision for a new Horticulture Center. The project has been funded through a combination of fundraising and institutional support. The Center will include classroom and community meeting space, new offices for the Cemetery’s horticultural staff, and expanded facilities for the Cemetery’s growing volunteer program. 

Designed by the Boston architectural firm of William Rawn Associates, the Horticulture Center is targeting the highest level of certification (Platinum) from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the U.S. Green Building Council. Sustainable initiatives will include geothermal wells and photovoltaic systems.

Photo by Mount Auburn Cemetery staff photographer, Jennifer Johnston

(L to R) Sam Lasky, architect, William Rawn Associates; Ann Roosevelt, Mount Auburn Board of Trustees Chair; Dave Barnett, President and CEO of Mount Auburn Cemetery; Tom Cooper, Mount Auburn Board of Trustees Vice Chair; Anthony Consigli, President and CEO of Consigli Construction Co.; Morgan Palmer, Project Donor