McMansions in the cemetery

This may seem like a strange application of the word “McMansion” but this I have seen several other articles that apply the term to cemeteries. With just the right amount of money, one can purchase a plot in one of New York City’s “most prestigious cemeteries”:

Woodlawn, the final home of honorary New Yorkers such as the publisher Joseph Pulitzer, the composer Irving Berlin and the musician Duke Ellington, calls itself the “resting place of a host of history’s greats”…

Labelled the “McMansions of the dead” by Susan Olsen, the cemetery historian, these tombs come complete with features, such as ornate carvings and mosaics, that are detailed in glossy brochures.

“We’re a little pricier than most places,” said Ms Olsen. “It’s not only because of the quality of our mausoleums but also the service we provide.

“Our lawns are mowed every 10 days, we have full-time security and we transport visitors to the graveside. It’s sort of like staying in the fancier hotels. We’re certainly the Ritz of cemeteries.”

I like the emphasis on service: that money should buy you more than just a piece of real estate.

The allusion to McMansions apparently refers to the wealth and opulence of such homes. But this isn’t fit just for anyone with money: in addition, Olsen also suggests this trend was started by people with “new money” who wanted to establish themselves. If you can practice conspicuous consumption in life, why not also in death?

I suspect wealthy families might not like having their plots and mausoleums labeled “McMansions.” Could this hurt the cemetery?

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