lafayette cemetery no. 1
tomb and coping owners association
A voice for our loved ones
Advocacy for this sacred resting place
Resources for families
Education about this historic landmark
As families, we are a voice for our loved ones and those buried in
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and a resource for all with family graves here.
As owners and stakeholders, we advocate for the protection of this sacred resting place
and educate about the accurate history of this historic landmark.
As tourism increased exponentially in New Orleans (and around the globe) after 2000, the city began to feel its negative impact. Infrastructure damage, neighborhood infiltration of tourists via short-term rentals, city-wide congestion and a demand on limited resources were just some of the problems. Worse, a consumerism attitude began to prevail among visitors, of using the city and its neighborhoods as venues for entertainment with little regard for their purposes or for the locals who lived there. Around 2015, as private, church-run cemeteries in New Orleans began to implement restrictions to combat this influx and the resulting damage, these problems spilled over into historic Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, a still active cemetery in the heart of uptown.
In early 2019, several dozen plot owners and family members met to discuss growing concerns about the cemetery and potential solutions to those concerns. (See our Gallery page here.) Research conducted into solutions from other cemeteries around the South was presented at this meeting. A delegation volunteered to present these concerns and proposals to the New Orleans department heads responsible and to the City Council.
Many cemetery directors across the South were willing to give their counsel. Two agreed to be on the advisory council for our newly forming association. Two others in preservation and historic landmark oversight also agreed to be a part of our advisory team. In April, 2019, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 Tomb and Coping Owners Association was incorporated with the Louisiana Secretary of State as a nonprofit organization. It has since been granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service.*
Over the Spring and Summer of 2019, this group met with several City of New Orleans council members and department heads responsible for various aspects of cemetery regulation to present the organization's concerns and proposed solutions. All recognized the problem as originating in problems of overtourism throughout the city of New Orleans which were in the process of being addressed. This has resulted in an initiative by the city to gather all departments involved to resolve these issues in the cemetery and city-wide.
By mid-summer of 2019, positive change had been noted in the atmosphere in and around the cemetery. The closure of the cemetery in September 2019 - after more deliberate vandalism in it - brought additional peace to the deceased and their families. Property Management for the City of New Orleans committed to initial improvements to damaged infrastructure like walkways and water supply lines, along with increased signage to instruct visitors in cemetery regulations and behaviors. The Taxicab Bureau (responsible for licensing tour guides) stepped up its enforcement. More help is promised in regulation, repair and maintenance of this historic location.
As stated in our Bylaws. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 Tomb and Coping Owners Association (LCTC) is a nonprofit corporation formed to address the escalation of serious problems in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, to support the city of New Orleans in the resolution of these problems and to advocate and educate in its proper on-going use, regulation and care.
LCTC is dedicated to the preservation of the purpose of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 as a sacred resting place for those buried there and for family members and other visitors to visit in peace and safety. We are additionally committed to the task of educating the public in the accurate history of this cemetery and of its deceased and to advocating for its respect, preservation and well-being.
Lafayette Cemetery Tomb and Coping Owners association is specifically dedicated to advocate for and educate about Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 to ensure the integrity of its sacred purpose, the protection of its deceased, the maintenance of its physical structure, the safety of its visitors and the accurate portrayal of its history.
*LCTC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation governed entirely by a volunteer board
using their own time and resources to meet the needs and goals of the association.
Several professionals have generously given of their time pro bono to help Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and this organization.
LCTC has no overhead, employees or paid staff.