The American Cemetery Movement tells the story of American cemeteries in roughly four chapters, demarcated by the emergence of new cemetery forms: the rural cemetery, the memorial park, and so on. This paper identifies the salient features associated with each epoch of cemetery development and locates them within the city-cemetery of Colma, California — America’s only official necropolis — to demonstrate how Colma extends America’s cemetery tradition in familiar ways. In Colma, the trends of cemetery growth and ‘flattening’ reached their natural conclusions, throwing the uncertain future of earthen burial in America into the spotlight. This paper analyzes the societal, cultural, and often political motivations that guided cemetery evolution and asks which new memorial forms might replace cemeteries for the better.
Treiman, Ethan, "Constructing Colma" (2022). Library Map Prize. 13.