The Collins House

Location: Bloomfield, NJ
Status: In Construction

Background: Built in 1790 with subsequent additions in the 1800s, the Collins House is a rare surviving example of the East Jersey cottage, a vernacular style that emerged as a result of combining early English and Dutch framing techniques. The Collins family played an important role in the development of the community and the construction / operation of the adjacent Morris Canal. While recognized for it's cultural significance locally, the property experienced decades of neglect ultimately resulting in the Garden State Preservation Trust and the New Jersey Historic Trust identifying it as one of the ten most endangered historic places in the state in 2013. 

A Call to Action: Working in collaboration with the Township of Bloomfield, the Bloomfield Historical Society, the Canal Society of NJ, and others, Fused Studios designed a conceptual master plan for the restoration of the Collins House property. Following the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, the exterior of the home shall be restored to it's appearance in about 1850, after the last significant addition was made to the structure. Larger features of note like the Greek Revival front porch shall be reconstructed based on historic photographs. An adaptive reuse of the first floor spaces will include a community conference room and a museum celebrating the role of the Collins family and the Morris Canal in the growth of Bloomfield. The second floor apartment will accommodate an on-site caretaker. The site will be fully redeveloped into a dynamic parklet for the benefit of the neighborhood and especially the adjacent senior citizen housing complex. 

Today: We are making tremendous strides in saving this important landmark. Following a forensic analysis / documentation of the existing conditions, Fused Studios prepared a report regarding the architectural significance of the building in support of it's nomination to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, of which final approval is pending. Stabilization efforts are ongoing with the abatement of hazardous materials, the replacement of degraded structural materials, and the installation of a new cedar shake roof. To see the latest news on the project, check out the Facebook page.