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Coopers Grant


Undertaken by CFDA in conjunction with the City of Camden, the Camden Redevelopment Agency, Camden County, and Rutgers University, this project restored the historic Johnson Park to its original condition. This one square block Victorian park, located in the Cooper Grant neighborhood in downtown Camden, was built by Eldridge Johnson, the founder of the Victor Talking Company, in the late 1920s. The park's grand design and original sculptures make it one of the most significant and unique cultural, historic, and artistic resources in the City of Camden and the State of New Jersey.

CFDA worked with landscape architects, archeologists and historic preservationists to restore and reconstruct the park’s outstanding sculptures and water features, as well as the concrete walks and plaza, benches, lighting, and vegetation. The project was funded by a $1.6 million ERB grant to the Camden Redevelopment Agency as well as additional funding from the NJDEP Green Acres Program.

The Johnson Park Rehabilitation Project entailed a complete rehabilitation of the Park, returning it to its original grandeur upon completion in 1930. The project also addressed the Cooper Library, located in the park, making it fully accessible to disabled persons. The overall rehabilitation included five main areas: 1) restoration of important sculptures within the park, 2) restoration of the fountains and pools, 3) rehabilitation of the landscape, 4) historic interpretation, and 5) accessibility improvements.

CFDA managed the project from inception to completion, securing the funding for the project, initiating and overseeing the design process, and supervising the construction carried out by Rutgers University. Because of the site’s designation on both the National and State Register of Historic Places, CFDA coordinated the design approvals of the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office and commissioned a Phase I-II Archaeological Survey of the site. Throughout the project, CFDA met with the neighborhood association, and provided monthly updates to the Camden Redevelopment Agency. The project was completed in 2007 at a cost of $2.1 million.

Spark Creative Group