|Frederick Clarke Withers|
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Added by: Eric K. Washington
|In the early 1870s, Frederick Clarke Withers collaborated with Calvert Vaux - co-creator with Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park - to make improvements to this cemetery. Vaux was the principal landscape architect for the cemetery project, however the most salient feature of that improvement was a suspension bridge across Broadway that linked the Easterly- and Westerly Divisions of the burial grounds. Given his fame, Vaux has often been credited for creating the bridge, but other sources including the Architectural Record of the American Institute of Architects attribute the structure to Withers, "whose origination and control of the design are plain." The bridge stood for forty years, between 1871 and 1911, when it was torn down to make way for the Chapel of the Intercession (the present-day Church of the Intercession) in the Easterly Division.|
The inscription is barely legible now, however, according to Ray C. Sawyer's 1931 survey of "Gravestone Inscriptions of Trinity Church Cemetery", the monument inscription reads:
Frederick Clark [sic]* Withers, b. Feb. 4, 1828; d. Jan. 7, 1901.
*Sawyer omits the letter "e" at the end of Withers' middle name. The New York Times also omits the "e" in Withers' obituary, but includes it sometimes in other items about the architect. The gravestone was too weathered for me to decipher the spelling on the day I found it, but it might be more evident in different light.
Photo and caption: ©2011 by Eric K. Washington
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