CHICAGO -- Far on the city’s Northwest Side, near the intersection of Pulaski and Foster, sits a national historic landmark and a melting pot of Chicago cultures.
In 1877 a group of Czech, Moravian, and Slovakian immigrants founded the Bohemian National Cemetery as a final resting place for a myriad of interests. Among some of the notables buried there: former Chicago Mayor Anton Cermack, and more than 400 of the people lost in the Eastland Disaster of 1915.
And you’ll find a replica of the outfield wall at Wrigley Field, with dozens of Cubs fans buried inside.
Beyond the Ivy was built in 2009, based on an idea by Dennis Mascari, a true blue Cubs fan with a cemetery background. The columbarium is a true replica Wrigley’s outfield wall, complete with ivy that was transplanted from the Friendly Confines.
The Bohemian National Cemetery Association’s President David Pimm said the cemetery tries to represent people as they were in life.
“For baseball fans, especially Cubs fans, they live their entire lives for the game,” Pimm said. The bricks, ivy, grass, and seats for visitors were all taken from Wrigley Field.
Dennis Mascari was encased there himself in 2011, inside one of roughly 70 urns in the location.
“Dennis told me he never missed an opening game; as a matter of fact, if you look in the wall in the stain glass you can see the clock has the start for…the first ballgame of the year,” Pimm said.
Pimm said fans and loved ones often come out to visit the spot, leaving tickets, flowers, and mementos of America’s favorite pastime. Gravesites also surround the memorial for fans preferring a Cubs-themed burial.
“We wanted to make it part of these people’s lives even though they’ve passed away,” Pimm said.
As the team battles it out with hopes still high for a World Series win, W flies above the cemetery gate in homage to those who will never see it happen.
If you are interested in the location as a final resting place, there are spots still available, starting around $1600.