Our HomeFronts workshops are the key medium of our message.
These simple meetups are advertised here, as well as through churches and community organizations, by word of mouth and on the street. They vary from one hour to three depending on content, from introductory show and tell, to hands-on practicums.
They are designed for everyone: homeowners, renters, absentee landlords--men and women--beginners and pros--English and Spanish-speakers.
They give people access to what they need...or we hope they do. They are a beginning. We too learn--by getting feedback, asking what else WE need to know.
A generation had passed. People needed to be reminded what the District was about, and why it might still be good--even if under different socioeconomic conditions from those that had created it.
Newcomers, too, confronting a “certificate of appropriateness” for the first time, often needed to get past a simple language barrier to know what obligations and conditions might come with buying and altering structures.
So beginning in 2012-13, with the assistance of several local funders, CHABA launched its “Historic Home Stewardship initiative,” a catchall educational project that would include
A translation of the longstanding City of Bridgeton Design Guidelines into Spanish;
The design and initiation of introductory educational meetups;
The creation of VIDEO versions of the Guidelines in English and Spanish for an immediate, accessible introduction to the district and tools for maintaining it;
Hands-on repair/restoration workshops in various aspects of historic fabric management and repair.
The Translation of the Guidelines
...was managed and supervised by Boardmember/architect Maria Cerda-Moreno. Working with student intern Jaime Bustos DeHaro, a Mexican-born Bridgetonian training in architecture at Boston Architectural College, enabled her and CHABA to underscore the learning value of this work, while Jaime helped assure linguistic accessibility to the local community.
Translating the GUIDELINES had seemed so obvious a way to begin to assure public access to information that when we were done, we were surprised to learn it was the first ever in the state.
We raised a toast in September 2013. Then we took our “Guias” on the road.
Other Teaching Tools
Assisted by Hector Brambila, a graduate architect-engineer also from Bridgeton, Cerda-Moreno created a PowerPoint presentation in both English and Spanish on the intent of the Guidelines.
A raw form of this presentation is now available, and has assured that our workshops are accessible and provide clear visual interpretation of the Guidelines text.