Hollywood Cemetery was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C for its designed and landscaped grounds, and the artistic value of its grave markers and sepulchral sculpture. It was planned with landscaped grounds and ornamental plantings, a pastoral setting with benches for meditation, and streets and burial sections designed in aesthetically pleasing, curved patterns.
An 1887 advertisement in the West Tennessee Whig predicted that Hollywood “will be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the South when completed.” Hollywood Cemetery represents the late nineteenth century trend toward care of the deceased in a landscaped, designed setting that evolved from the earlier “rural” cemetery movement. Although it includes a naturalistic landscape, Hollywood Cemetery does not have formal gardens or non-burial space reserved only for landscaping as was typical of the subsequent early twentieth century “City Beautiful” movement that followed the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Instead, it provides a pastoral setting with trees integrated into family plots and occasional ornamental plantings such as redbud, dogwood, holly, magnolia, crepe myrtle, peony, and yucca.