While a beautiful monument and wonderful place to escape the crowds, the burial ground has a vile history
As you enter Taddle Creek Park you see nothing but beautiful views of the valley beyond you. That is until you turn into the park. What then greets you is the mausoleum, or “cathedral”, for drug users.
At the entrance you see a beautiful marble monument, attributed to Florence Roscommon, the first woman to attain a PhD in chemistry. It’s a perfect spot for a memorial to the Irish descendant of the Flemish banker Baron de Rothschild, and a beloved figure in the world of science.
In the first days of 2015 I installed a plaque at the entrance to the tomb. At first, tourists used to come over to take pictures, and a local used it as a bench in the winter. The plaque noted that Florence had to pass through the tomb before reaching her burial place in the garden.
A few days later I discovered the fence was broken. Tourists began using the space as an impromptu toilet. I stopped my project and had to move things to the other side of the fence.
Over the following days it got worse. Tourists came and went using it as a toilet. One even climbed the top and undid her pants. I decided to close it, but this was followed by a court order prohibiting me from posting anything about the tomb.
I called the authorities and pleaded with them to do something. I would pay for the lost traffic, but they refused. I read a book of poetry, in which a poet describes the personality of the missing wife of the revered mathematician and founder of modern mathematics, Archimedes. His wife says to him “your wife is impossible to find, you must persuade me to let her return to you”. Archimedes says that his wife is going to be found.
In the case of Florence, her spouse died in the 1860s. The park is beyond the wall of death. Why is it that it has become a “world-class travel destination for the terminally ill and homeless”, which no one seems to be “prying” anyone out of?