Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wordish/OutdoorWednesday: Former Nike Base Becomes Art Park!

 photo RikerHillArtPark14_zps959893be.jpg

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.

 photo RikerHillArtPark5_zps9b08b5df.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark1_zps0cd746e4.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark12_zps2afe8d0e.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark13_zps44d9e550.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark2_zps51ce27f3.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark3_zps2c789526.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark4_zpsfc3c5725.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark10_zps8613a286.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark11_zps76895b17.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark6_zps649086a9.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark7_zpsc202093a.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark8_zps1e55f94a.jpg

 photo RikerHillArtPark9_zps2c045a9e.jpg

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.







18 comments:

  1. I was just in Jersey this past weekend Iove your pics looks like some really cool artwork
    thenightowlmama.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for joining the german wordless wednesday! :)
    http://tinaspicstory.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Caite@a lovely shore breezeDecember 7, 2011 at 6:07 AM

    interesting...and weird.
    I love Weird NJ..

    ReplyDelete
  4. In this day and time the tea party would go ape here in Oklahoma over a government sponsored art park. I love the concept though especially as executed in your pics.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this!  I'm an artist, and what better way to reclaim a missile base but with creativity?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh how cool is that?  Love it - and all the shots! :)


    The Toothbrush Tree

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's kind of sad nothing is going on in that place. The arts placed in there are awesome!
    Mackinac Island

    ReplyDelete
  8. what a neat idea for an old base. I love reading about interesting and new places. Thanks for sharing. If you have time to stop by my site at www.forgottencompass.com I invite you to follow along :) Have a good one!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, it sure is different. I love the quirky aspects of New Jersey.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can't imagine this happening now, even though the county got the land for one dollar.  I wonder who had the idea originally. Obviously an art lover.  It's a great idea, though.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It was just a quiet day when I was there. I'm sure the artists were busy in their studios.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments. Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...