Forest Lawn Cemetery has launched a new app that makes it easy to self-tour the historic grounds, no matter a person’s location. The virtual reality-style tour was made possible thanks to funding from M&T Bank. The app is now available for download on iOS (Apple®) and Android® devices.
“Because of M&T’s generous support, this innovative mobile app opens Forest Lawn to people locally, nationally and internationally, who may not be able to visit our sacred grounds for a variety of reasons, including distance, age or disability,” said Forest Lawn President Joseph P. Dispenza. “This technology, which we believe is being deployed in this way locally for the first time, is particularly exciting, as more and more people – young and old alike – are relying on technology like this to discover and explore the world around them. M&T has provided Forest Lawn and all of Western New York with the ability to make this historic and peerless place of perpetual care readily accessible to people around the globe.”
Each tour stop provides the app user with a unique 360-degree view of the location, offering a “virtual reality” perspective of the site. The user can then listen to the story of each individual or monument as presented by professional actors.
The convenient app joins myriad other ways to tour the cemetery, from trolley tours to moonlight tours. There are plenty of ways to get around the site, while learning about the lives of those who have been buried on the grounds. The new app gives Forest Lawn a completely new and up to date way for people to interact with the cemetery.
“Until today, our award-winning tour program has been sharing the histories and love stories of our permanent residents within the confines of our gates,” Dispenza said. “The mobile app changes everything. Now the world can experience the region’s proud history, heritage and the powerful stories that make Forest Lawn and our community such a remarkable place.”
Currently, there are 20 tour stops on the app, featuring stops that include President Millard Fillmore, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, pop music icon Rick James, and the Blue Sky Mausoleum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Eventually, upwards of 100 points of interest will be found on the app.
Aside from people interacting with the app from places far removed from the cemetery, those touring the actual grounds will also find the app helpful, as it signals real time directions, making it fun and easy to navigate the cemetery’s 269 acres.
“The innovative Forest Lawn mobile app is a tremendous leap forward for Forest Lawn, which is one of the nation’s oldest yet one of its most progressive cemeteries,” said Shelley Drake, president of The M&T Charitable Foundation. “At M&T, we take great pride in our hometown, so we’re very excited to see one of its most precious cultural assets showcased for all the world to experience. In many respects, the story of Forest Lawn is the story of Buffalo, so having the opportunity to bring the history and beauty of Forest Lawn to anyone with a smartphone at any time is a breakthrough that we’ve been thrilled to support.”
Check out the great new Forest Lawn mobile tour app. It’s available for free download now.
Also, be sure to attend upcoming “non-app” tours at the cemetery:
July 28: Artwork on the Canvas of Forest Lawn
July 29: Inside the Gatehouse Walking tour