The Barrow Mansion Development Corporation (BMDC) was founded in 1984 for the purpose of restoring, preserving, and operating the Barrow Mansion, which includes promoting its use as a community center.
The BMDC [a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation] leases The Barrow Mansion from St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and manages and maintains the property. Part of the BMDC’s greater mission is to convey the Mansion's historic significance to the public at large.
Over the last three decades, the BMDC has raised and invested over $1.75 million in the historic building’s renovation. A majority of these funds came from grants from the New Jersey Historic Trust and the City of Jersey City Community Development Block Grant [CDBG] program, with additional funding from the Warhol Foundation. These grants afforded extensive reconstructive work including: entirely new electrical wiring, plumbing, air conditioning, roofing, fire protection, and large-scale structural repairs. The building now has an elevator and wheelchair lift, making it handicap accessible.
The BMDC continues to rely on fundraising to continue its renovation and restoration work because it receives no government operational support. The vast majority of its operating funds are from rental use, and its bylaws require that all users must pay to use the building. As board policy, for-profit users pay market rent, which allows the BMDC to substantially subsidize the rent for nonprofit users.
The Mansion serves as an anchor in Jersey City. For almost a generation, the Barrow Mansion has been a beacon for the Recovery community. Over 40,000 visitors come through its doors annually, attending more than 1,300 meetings of neighborhood and self-help groups – an average of four meetings per day, every day of the year.
Immediately after Superstorm Sandy, the Mansion became the headquarters for a city-wide relief effort that raised and distributed almost $1.35 million in goods and services to those in need, especially those whose homes had been devastated.
The BMDC Board of Directors has recently developed a new Strategic Plan to expand its service to the community by adding new arts, culture and heritage programming. By 2020, the Barrow Mansion will be known as a significant and vital part of relationship-building and leadership development in downtown Jersey City.
It will be a place where people and groups come together to grow as individuals while developing more inclusive and just communities, through lectures, workshops, small groups, arts, music and cultural programming. People using the mansion will continue to reflect the broad community in which we are located, with diversity of age, income, culture, and ethnicity.
This website was made possible by the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund, which is administered by the New Jersey Historic Trust.
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