From South Park to Lincoln Park

The Lincoln Park Façade Project Has A Story To Tell
By Roger Smith, Assoc. AIA, LEED Green Associate

There is a plaque on the wall at the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District office and the inscription reads “In February 1861, president-elect Abraham Lincoln passed through Newark on his way to the inauguration and spoke on the steps of the South Park Calvary Presbyterian Church in front of a crowd of approximately 25,000, at the behest of founders John P. and Elizabeth Jackson.” The question of whether President Lincoln actually stood on the steps of the old South Park Calvary Presbyterian Church or somewhere in the vicinity has been fodder for debate among historians for decades. In 1903 the church celebrated its semi-centennial (50 years) which means that next year when groundbreaking begins behind the façade, the milestone will coincide with its 170th anniversary.

Lincoln Park’s South Park Calvary Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest anchor institutions in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and symbol of freedom for Black, Indigenous and People of Color in Newark. It was a house of worship where Black ministers were often invited to preach while it also served as the home to Newark’s largest woman’s club – the Contemporary Club. It was Newark’s first racially integrated presbyterian church and an architectural marvel to behold. John Welch (1824-1894), the Architect for the High Street Presbyterian church and orphanage currently located on the NJIT campus, designed the exquisite 1850s Greek Revival edifice which has served as a gathering space for the community, even after the destructive fire in 1992. The fire leveled the building, but the gracious façade remained. Structurally unsound, it languished for years until it was conveyed to upstart non-profit Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, which began restoration around 2008, just before the economic downturn. Next year, Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, along with Gensler and partner Baldwin Equities will break ground on the site behind the façade, on what will become a new mixed-use project with approximately 60new residential units, amenities, retail space and a new home for LPCCD offices.

“Baldwin works to identify unique characteristics in in each project that will enhance the community and resonate with the history and culture of the neighborhood. No two projects are alike” says Avi Benamu, Co-Founder of Baldwin Equities. Benamu continues “Baldwin sat down with LPCCD and designed a project that is not only practical and efficient, but has the potential to change the Lincoln Park Neighborhood and set LPCCD on a path of becoming financially independent.”

The next chapter of Lincoln Park will be defined by its evolving identity as a community – a community grounded in its rich history, culture and the arts. We hope this project will breathe new life and purpose into an iconic Newark landmark as well as anchor and preserve the rich legacy of the Lincoln Park Neighborhood for generations to come.

Roger Smith is a Principal and Design Director at Gensler (a global architecture, design and planning firm) in Morristown NJ. Roger is also the Co-Director of Gensler’s Center for Research on Equity and the Built Environment and a member of Gensler’s Global Race and Diversity Committee.

BERKELEY COLLEGE CELEBRATES ‘REMARKABLE RESILIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE’

Photo Caption: Berkeley College celebrates the perseverance and achievements of more than 1,000 graduates during a Commencement ceremony on Thursday, May...

BERKELEY COLLEGE NEWARK NETWORKING BREAKFAST

HIGHLIGHTS NEW INITIATIVES AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS Business partners, community leaders, and alumni focused on collaboration and education during Berkeley College’s second annual Newark...

Kean and Howard Universities ForgeHistoric Dual Degree Agreement

Kean University students now have a faster path to earning a doctoral degree in pharmacy under a new dual degree...

Essex County Commissioner A’Dorian Murray-Thomas Incredibly Accomplished and Just Getting Started

Simply catching up with A’dorian Murray-Thomas feels like a grand accomplishment. The newly-elected county commissioner is also CEO of the...

Community Education Forum w/Alfred Bundy: Ruth Ware, Dr. Leigh Bello & student athlete Zoey Tapsoba

In this episode of Essex County College’s Community Education Forum, host Alfred Bundy speaks with guests Professor Ruth Ware (of...

Community Education Forum with Alfred Bundy and guests Melba Moore, Samirah Scantling & Talia Young

In this episode of Essex County College’s Community Education Forum, host Alfred Bundy speaks with guests Melba Moore (Tony Award...

Rev. Dr. Valerie Oliver-Durrah & Brooke Durrah

Mother & Daughter Building a Legacy of Black Excellence in Brooklyn Known throughout Brooklyn as...

This Mom Is Fighting Hunger by Starting a Company That Reduces Food Waste

Atlanta mom Jasmine Crowe-Houston launched Goodr, a company that keeps food out of landfills while...

Aisha Glover Helps Audible Make an Impact in Cities Around the World

Aisha Glover joined Audible as VP, Urban Innovation in 2020, when Audible’s Founder Don Katz...

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency Celebrates 40 Years of Service

On January 17, 2024, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) celebrates its...

Consider it Pure Joy | Jennifer Jones Austin

When Jennifer Jones Austin, wife, mother, lawyer and child advocate, and the picture of good...

NJHMFA Board Meeting Delivers Key Housing Policy Advancements in Tax Credits and Multifamily Programs

 New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) approved two new programs, the Urban Preservation...

Donald Payne: A Friend Indeed

There is no question that Essex County and Newark lost a great leader with the unfortunate passing of U.S. Representative...
Read More

Newark Congressman Donald Payne Jr. dead, weeks after suffering heart attack

Rep. Donald Payne Jr., who followed his father into politics and represented Newark in Congress for more than a decade...
Read More

Newark Boys Chorus School

The Positive Community’s annual Great American Emancipation Day Awards Banquet, celebrates excellence, service, freedom and the genius of Black music...
Read More

Rev. Al Sharpton

The media referred to him as a “controversial figure,” “race baiter,” “charlatan,” and more since the 1980s. When he began...
Read More

The Truth about “The Star-Spangled Banner”

It was September of 1814. The British had sacked Washington and torched the White House. The conflict became known as...
Read More

Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes at the Newark Museum of Art

NJPAC celebrated Max Roach’s centennial with a screening of the new documentary Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes at the Newark Museum of Art. Afterwards, a panel discussion was held include Max’s son...
Read More

BAM hosts 38th Annual Brooklyn tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On January 15, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) proudly hosted the 38th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a deeply cherished event honoring the legacy of...
Read More

Activist Viola Plummer dies at age 86

Activist and Chairperson of the December 12th Movement Viola Plummer has died. Her passing was announced on Monday. She was...
Read More

 Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz Art Collection at Brooklyn Museum

Call it an embarrassment of riches: The musician Alicia Keys and her husband Kasseem Dean, the producer and D.J. known...
Read More

Should You Focus On Exercise When You Want to Lose Weight?

Exercise may not be the best way to lose weight. A quick Google search on...

Holy Name Announces New Leadership Appointments

Holy Name, the region’s leading independent health system, appointed Cynthia Ziegler as Vice President of...

You Can Live Well

As a fitness expert, I often encourage clients to care for themselves first. It seems...

Season’s Greetings

Stay Safe and Enjoy this Wonderful Time of the Year The upcoming holiday season is...

Powerful Stories of Breast Cancer Survivors

WORLD’s Stories from the Stage: The Podcast Kicks Off New Season Stories from the Stage: The...

They are Fit to be First Responders

By Barry Carter In a spirited competition among first responders, Newark and Essex County police...