City Quotient: The Star of Green Lawn Cemetery

The story behind an endangered Frank Packard-designed monument

Jeff Darbee
Green Lawn Cemetery

I like to drive through Green Lawn Cemetery to see the various monuments and am intrigued by a big, ornate building marked “Hayden.” I assume it’s a mausoleum, but can you tell me who’s in it? 

That is indeed a mausoleum, to many people the “star” of Green Lawn Cemetery at the west end of Greenlawn Avenue (note the different spellings) south of Downtown. Built of stone, terra cotta tile, stained glass, iron and wood, the Hayden Mausoleum dates from 1920 and was designed by Frank Packard, one of our city’s most influential architects. Packard died in 1924, so this was among his last projects. The building is the largest single-family mausoleum in Central Ohio and a late example of the 19th century French style called Beaux-Arts Classicism. Buildings in this style are pretty well gone from Columbus, but another example is in the Arena District—the Union Station arch, lone survivor of the station’s High Street arcade.

Related:A Guide to Frank Packard’s Broad Street Buildings

CQ wrote about Peter Hayden in the September 2016 issue, recounting his success in carriage-building, hardware, banking, iron production and clay products, along with his propensity to put his name on things. The family mausoleum has room for 12 stone coffins arranged in a circle. Alas, even well-built buildings can deteriorate. Hayden family members and money are long gone, and the mausoleum has suffered years of little-to-no maintenance. The Columbus Landmarks Foundation put the building on its most endangered list in 2019. Fortunately, work was done to stabilize it somewhat while fundraising for more repairs goes forward.

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On the East Side, along South Nelson Road north of Livingston Avenue, there’s a historical marker for Hanford Village. What is the history here?

In the early 20th century, people wanting to live close to but not in Columbus built homes west of Alum Creek and south of Main Street. Having reached a population of more than 200, the village of Hanford was incorporated the last day of 1909, bounded by Main Street, Alum Creek, Livingston Avenue and Lilley Avenue. It was adjacent to the Columbus boundary along Lilley, and in 1913 the city annexed two-thirds of Hanford after African Americans coming north during the Great Migration moved into the area.

Jump to 1945, when developer Ivan Gore platted the George Washington Carver Addition, which included Hanford. He saw that the city’s Black population—swollen by jobs in war industries, returning veterans and the arrival of the Tuskegee Airmen (see CQ for September 2016)—would need new housing. The development included Hanford Village Park and, in 1958, St. Mark’s Missionary Baptist Church. Nearly 150 homes were in this neighborhood, nearly all in a simple, comfortable, 1.5-story Cape Cod design, with brick fronts. Then came the freeway. In Columbus, many of the “superhighways” of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s went through Black neighborhoods. I-70 did, and it also slashed through Hanford Village. Many homes were demolished, and some were sold for as little as $112 and moved elsewhere. But the neighborhood persists and has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Jeff Darbee is a preservationist, historian and author in Columbus. Send your questions to cityquotient@columbusmonthly.com, and the answer might appear in a future column.

Sources: ohioexploration.com; columbuslandmarks.org; Becky West, Columbus Landmarks executive director; Randel Rogers, president, Green Lawn Cemetery Association; Hanford Village historical marker; Rory Krupp and Roy Hampton, National Register nomination for “Hanford Village George Washington Carver Addition Historic District.

This story is from the December 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly.