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Featured Mini-Grantee | Barrow Mansion Development Corporation

2024-05-09T09:22:46-04:00May 9th, 2024|

Rennovating Community Spaces

Anyone who’s lived in Jersey City for any length of time is likely familiar with the Barrow Mansion, a grand 19th century home in Ward E. Over the years, it has become an integral community space. Built in 1837 by Dr. William Barrow and his wife Eliza Brower, the Barrow Mansion is listed in the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places.

The Barrow Mansion Development Corporation was formed in 1984 to restore this historic landmark for the community. Since then, it has completed several infrastructure projects to install modern plumbing, heating and, later, air conditioning, a new roof, and a wheelchair accessible lift. The Barrow Mansion has become a recognized venue for arts programming, weddings, theatrical, TV and film production. However, upgrades were needed to better accommodate 16 different 12-Step programs like AA, NA, and Al-Anon and more than 27 recurring meetings each month.

+ Barrow Mansion

The Barrow Mansion believes that building a Culture of Health means that people have the means to find the resources they need to improve their lives. With this renovation, Barrow Mansion Development Corporation sought to expand the use of Barrow Mansion as a community hub for quality recovery programs and services.

When awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC recognized the Barrow Mansion for hosting physical and mental health programs to overcome addiction in a safe professional environment.

How was the Mini-Grant Used?

The Barrow Mansion Development Corporation used its mini-grant to renovate community meeting spaces, largely used for AA, NA, and Al-Anon meetings. The upgrade replaced seating and lighting and added tables and meeting materials storage.

The renovated space can now comfortably accommodate about 200 per week/900 per month 12-step attendees. They come to Barrow Mansion from all Jersey City neighborhoods, and from a diverse demographic profile – minority, women, veteran, young/old, low income, professional, multi-generational, individuals with disabilities, and others. Post-pandemic, settings that connect peers and instructors “in real life” is increasingly an important factor in recovery.


 Making a Difference…

“I can’t stress enough the importance of the Barrow and how it saved and helped change my life by the very fact that it exists, and it exists for the people who need it.”

Anonymous said that they’d been a resident of Jersey City for more than 35 years but didn’t feel part of the community “until I started going to the Barrow Mansion. I didn’t even know it existed until I needed the services it offered, not even ten blocks from where I lived.

“A place like the Barrow Mansion is rare these days in communities,” said Anonymous. “What with the soaring cost of real estate and rents, community centers and meeting spaces are getting to be few and far between.”

Property Manager Gerry Bakirtjy said, “One of the most gratifying things to me is that we can support so many self-help organizations and 12-step programs and children’s acting classes. Our mission is to support these groups.

“People don’t really know each other until they walk through the doors of places like the Barrow Mansion, which has stayed true to its mission of serving its community.”

Historic tours of the Barrow Mansion are given on the first Saturday of the month by appointment only. For more information, visit the site at