Hillside Cemetery, Torrington CT

Client  Hillside Cemetery Association

Heritage Landscapes has collaborated with the Hillside Cemetery Association (HCA) to aid in the stewardship and management of this historic Olmsted Brothers, 1907 to 1962 designed landscape. The Hillside Cemetery Historic Landscape Stewardship & Renewal Plan began with research and site study to identify historic character defining features. In a collaborative process with the HCA team, we reviewed and assessed the areas of continuity and change from 1907 to the present, directing the overall renewal of the Olmsted landscape character and details to:

  • Define the historic character to guide stewardship
  • Identify Rehabilitation projects to recapture degraded landscape features and details
  • Address cemetery facilities and operational needs
  • Plan for expansion of in-ground and cremains burials and scatter gardens
  • Design landscape changes for relative ease of management
  • Direct ongoing Landscape Management to elevate horticultural practices
  • Integrate everyday community use for visitor and public enjoyment

While historic landscape character remains legible, we observed loss of walking paths, reduction of rich Olmsted plant palette, and incursion of invasive plant material. The plan addresses these issues with restoration and rehabilitation projects and management recommendations. The first of the renewal projects is the Cemetery Entrance and Chapel Drive to recapture the Olmsted character. Administering project work with local contractors, progress has resulted in: removal of invasive and hazardous trees; restoration of the stone and iron entrance gate; and planting of 80 evergreen trees, 50 deciduous shade trees, 24 flowering trees, 295 shrubs and over 10,000 ground cover plants. Initial planting efforts recapture areas of historic richly textured vegetation character of the cemetery landscape. Work is underway to plot cemetery expansion sections that employ Olmsted design principles and details for a harmonious integrated landscape.


Plot new areas for Cemetery Expansion, Hillside Cemetery Entrance & Chapel Drive Planting Renewal, Entrance Masonry & Iron Gate Restoration, Hillside Cemetery Historic Landscape Stewardship & Renewal Plan


Heritage Landscapes


"General recommendations and guiding principles for the cemetery property direct overall restoration of historic character while specific works align to provide stewardship to recapture Olmsted character, focus maintenance, welcome community, and meet future needs."