We are an open circle of thoughtful cultural and multicultural activists--some young--some seasoned--
all invested in sustainability.
For us, historic preservation is creative, futuristic work.
We are not out to freeze the past, but to model
people-centered “placemaking” as a path to green,
sustainable, culturally & economically diverse
housing and neighborhood improvement...as well as
jobs creation...quality of life...environmental justice
and economic reinvestment.
We pour our energies (and yes, our love) into this
small New Jersey city because it tells an amazingly rich story of the making of America--working and
middle-class--farming and industry--native
& immigrant--over four centuries.
...And because, with the largest historic district
in the state, this same small city enlarges
the challenge and the potential impact
of everything we do. JOIN US!
Fall Vendor Faire & Maker Showcase
Come join us--Saturday, September 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., outside the Nail House
(Just off the Commerce Street entrance to Bridgeton City Park)
Check out unique handcrafted arts & crafts,
books, pictures, videos, and more,
created with the talent and passion of local
crafters, gardeners, historic-house
and local-history enthusiasts.
Step inside the historic Nail House!
See how repairs are progressing!
AND INSIDE...Catch our “Artist-in-Residence,"
Rita Lynn Lyman, in the very process of creating (and answering your questions about) her unique special installation--"The Nail House as a Time Machine”--
an artful interpretation of the interwoven stories
of Bridgeton, the Nail Works, Bridgeton City Park,
and the people of many cultures who have worked
and resided here over two centuries,
designed to capture the spirit of CHABA's
and the City’s collaborative Nail House Restoration Project, and scheduled to open
for full display in early December.
Drop in---Free admission!
(masks & Distancing required)
The Nail House is wheelchair-accessible
"The Nail House as Time Machine" Showcase Events
CHABA will be organizing three exhibits at the Nail House, hosted by Resident Artist
Rita Lynn Lyman, to showcase the creativity of regional artists in re-imagining and reinterpreting local history, especially of the Nail Mill.
These exhibits are to be held monthly on the first weekend of each month as follows:
October: art entries from local students, teachers, and residents
November: a regional exhibit (call to go out shortly)
December: a final exhibition of selected artwork,
along with Rita's finished installation.
More details coming soon!
BRING BACK THE NAIL HOUSE
Named for the tiny bridge that has straddled the Cohansey River here since 1716, Bridgeton has been the seat of New Jersey’s rural Cumberland County since before the Revolution. It is steeped in a marinade of precolonial, colonial and postcolonial histories and cultures.
CHABA has been collaborating with the City of Bridgeton (which owns the Nail House--the little building at the entrance to Bridgeton CIty Park) on repairs that have made this historic
'founder site' accessible again.
We are committed to assuring that this key contributing structure can keep telling not just the story of the city itself but of the park--a gem of public space and one of the largest urban parks in the state--expressing CHABA's commitment to the work of promoting environmental justice in this community and beyond.
Linocut below by Bridgeton artist James Cox 1935
Bridgeton’s architectural range is encyclopedic: from cabin to castle, high Victorian to classical revival to modernist. The Historic District itself includes an amazing number of individual architectural gems, many designed by noted architects.