It’s the final resting place for nearly 70,000 individuals—a place of great beauty, deep meaning and rich history. It’s a peaceful site for long walks and contemplation, and a place where people from all religions, cultures and walks of life can come to remember and honor their loved ones. Founded in 1855, Springdale Cemetery is one of the Peoria region’s long-lasting crown jewels, but its future hasn’t always been assured.
For some years, the cemetery and its grounds seemed to be deteriorating beyond repair, the victim of mismanagement, but recent years have witnessed a rejuvenated effort to maintain and preserve this beautiful setting. The latest chapter unfolded on August 4, 2017 with the dedication of a new roadway entrance on Prospect Road—a $250,000 project two years in the making.
Inspired by the old entrance on Perry Street, which closed years ago, the project incorporated stones from the original entrance, with six new pillars designed to mirror the old ones and decorative fencing installed along Prospect. A large, central column stands tall in the median—surrounded by flowers, beckoning visitors with signage, topped off by a decorative cap salvaged from the old pillars.
Just north of the entrance, a large green space will eventually contain bench seating, public art and a contemplation garden—the project’s second phase. From lighting to landscaping to irrigation, no detail has been overlooked in creating an entrance fit for a historic landmark… and the beauty it holds inside. iBi