Protection or Destruction at Greenwood Cemetery

Joe Menkevich, as a member of the Historic Properties Committee at Historical Society of Frankford,  has been researching the situation at Greenwood Cemetery.  The following is his email to Jonathan Farnham, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Historical Commission:

Dear Dr. Farnham
A you are well aware, the Philadelphia Historical Commission has a file on the Knights of Pythias Greenwood Cemetery Company, which (by my understanding of the facts) is now the responsibility of Cancer Treatment Centers of America via their shell company Greenwood Holdings LLC.
The Cemetery company is a land management company and are to manage & maintain the the overall cemetery property, the buildings & paths.
At any rate, all the graves in the cemetery which have been purchased & or contain human remains & headstones are owned IN FEE SIMPLE by individual families. They are no to be disturbed unless by order of the Philadelphia Orphans’ Court.
Additionally, when it comes to a property under the “protection” of  PHC, I am sure you are familiar with the “Due Process” which involves Public hearings & Public notices whenever any changes are to be made.
However, please see by the attached photographs that several sections of the cemetery, as designed by Architect Thomas S. Levy (specifically: O, P, S & T), have now been leveled & most of the “Historic” graves markers are now missing. This has occurred in the last 2 weeks.
Where were the Public hearings? Where is the Court Order? Where is the Protection? Where are the Grave Stones now? Who is accountable?
Please do investigate this situation to determine what if anything can be done.
I am of the opinion that criminal charges should be filed with the Philadelphia District Attorney.
Sincerely,
Joseph J. Menkevich
P.S.
CBS3.com just hosted a recent news story showing several grave stones (from several area cemeteries) that dumped in the mouth of Frankford Creek under the Betsy Ross Bridge. They were not from Greenwood.

  • Debbie

    Joe M. and I just received word from the Philadelphia Historic Commission. They knew nothing about this and they are looking into it. When changes are made on a property that is on the Philadelphia Register, a proposal is made to the Historic Commission and a hearing has to take place. No one knew about this ahead of time. If Joe or I hear of anything new on this, we will keep the community informed.