Wordish/OutdoorWednesday: Former Nike Base Becomes Art Park!
During the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the 1950's and 1960's, there were multiple Nike Missile sites in the U.S., including several in New Jersey.
As the cold war started to fade in the 1970's, several of these Nike bases were abandoned. In 1974 the federal government sold the one in Livingston to the county for $1.00. Interestingly, instead of building condos or strip malls upon it (which is what would happen today), the county came up with a unique idea: convert the former missile base into art studios at greatly reduced rents to artists.
Artists at Riker Hill work in a rustic and rather wild looking place, dotted with tall grass and wildflowers (apparently artists do not like to mow anything). It's not particularly beautiful but rather certainly different.
We visited there in May and took these photos. I didn't see any artists, but they were probably inside the buildings. I didn't want to disturb them. There are rather unusual metal sculptures and also remnants of the former Army base are still around, as seen in the very last photo.
They have open houses every year when you can meet the artists and purchase art, but I always forget about them or else they are on days that I cannot be there. Hopefully, next year.
You can read more about the former Nike bases here, here, and here.
Weird NJ wrote about the Nike bases here.
You can read about Riker Hill Art Park here.
You can see one artist's sketches done at Riker here.
You can read more Wordless Wednesday here.
You can read more Wordful Wednesday here.
You can read more Outdoor Wednesday here.