Lakewood resident Jean Jackson remembers it like it was yesterday when the Belmar Museum’s name was changed to the Lakewood Heritage Center in 1996. People would get the name confused with Heritage …
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Lakewood resident Jean Jackson remembers it like it was yesterday when the Belmar Museum’s name was changed to the Lakewood Heritage Center in 1996. People would get the name confused with Heritage Square and the Lakewood Cultural Center, but eventually she grew to like the name.
This time around, Jackson won’t have to wait to like the Lakewood Heritage Center’s new name. She already supports it.
It’s going to take some getting used to, but the Lakewood Heritage Center museum is now called the Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park. The museum is home to more than 40,000 artifacts and 15 historic buildings that tell the story of Lakewood at 801 S. Yarrow St.
“If (the name change) conjures up a feeling of heritage, museum, history, etc. — that’s the important thing. (Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park) is less of a mouthful than Lakewood Heritage Center,” said Jackson, a volunteer at the museum since February of 1991.
The name change comes courtesy of the museum’s master plan, a document adopted in 2017 that outline’s the city’s vision to have Lakewood residents and the museum’s visitors benefit from Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park. Part of the master plan includes a goal to create a position of visibility and identity for the museum.
Along with the name change, the museum rolled out a new logo to add to the new identity. It pays homage to Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park’s visiting center and architecture that can be found on the site, like agricultural structures.
“With this new name change, and with a new look, we’re trying to establish Heritage Lakewood as its own center, history park, museum and festival experience where people can come and celebrate the community. We’re really excited to be talking about Heritage Lakewood in an updated way, and it’s exciting for us to be moving the master plan action items forward,” said Michelle Nierling, Lakewood’s heritage, culture and the arts manager.
Outside of being a museum, Heritage Lakewood Belmar plays home to education programs, field trips and community events like Cider Days, Lakewood Lights, Rockin’Block Party, Sounds Exciting! and Summer Concert Series.
This year, the museum plans to add signage displaying the new name and logo.
“Really, the space needed a new identity. Although much of what we do will be in keeping with what we did in the past, we thought that this gives us a new energy, a new identifier,” said Betsy Bowers, the museum’s administrator.
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