Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Heidi M. Hohmann


Oak Hill Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is one of H.W.S. Cleveland's early Midwestern cemetery landscapes that is relatively intact. This case study of Oak Hill Cemetery highlights how Cleveland communicated his design ideas through landscape. Specifically, the design analysis of Oak Hill Cemetery reveals Cleveland's design aesthetic in the landscape.

Cleveland was influenced by ideas about the affective quality of the landscape found in early American literature. Consequently, he studied the natural environment in the places where he worked to find inspiration for his designs. Cleveland's belief in the transformative power of the landscape, together with the 19th century rural cemetery movement, shaped his professional practice in landscape architecture. This cultural movement that swept across America influenced the Board of the Oak Hill Cemetery Association as well. Its effect is revealed in the history of Oak Hill.

Cleveland's design aesthetic was conveyed through a general design philosophy that he discussed in his written work; he rarely stated specific principles of design. Therefore, the principles explicated in this case study are the author's own interpretation of Cleveland's approach to design. These principles provide a framework for the design analysis of Cleveland's landscape for Oak Hill Cemetery. The analytical description offers insight into how Cleveland communicated his design aesthetic. Furthermore, it shapes our understanding of his work and contributes to the larger body of knowledge about this pioneer landscape architect.


Copyright Owner

Deborah Lynn Cooper



File Format


File Size

138 pages