CAMDEN, NJ — City Hall visitors will have the opportunity to learn about Camden history through a new touchscreen interactive kiosk.

But what parts of the last 300 years will they see? That's for you to decide.

Starting Monday, the city — in partnership with the Municipal Clerk’s Office — is collecting ideas and feedback from residents about places, people and events they want to see highlighted in the new virtual mural.

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“The current mural at the historical society is painted [whereas] this would make the experience interactive through a three-panel screen on the wall,” city spokesman Vincent Basara said. “People would be able to see the mural, but also get relevant information like important meeting dates and other resources.”

Among the people the mural may include is the first female Latina to serve on the NJ State Assembly, Nilsa I. Cruz Perez — a former resident. City officials are also considering St. Joseph’s Polish Catholic Church, built in 1890 with the stated goal of creating a censorship-free Catholic Church with Polish traditions in the city.

The current mural starts in the 1600s when “for thousands of years, the [Lenni Lenape] native peoples consisted of dozens of independent groups and established their own communities along the Delaware River,” according to local historians. 

Specifically, the city is seeking to add 10 more Camden people, places or events. The survey, available here, will close Aug. 28. 

The mural, which will is funded through a grant from the Camden County Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, has been roughly year in the making, Basara said.

It will be installed in the first-floor elevator lobby of City Hall, however, a date has not been announced.

Four of the eight suggestions are below (per the city) — but locals can also write in their recommendations online:

𝐌𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐝𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐚 𝐀𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐌𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐩𝐚𝐥 𝐂𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐡 — Situated on Spruce Street below 3rd. Can be traced back to beginning prayer houses in 1832 by South Jersey resident Anna George. This church was the first one built by any congregation of African American worshippers in Camden County.

𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐭𝐨𝐧 𝐅𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐌𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 — First built in 1824 as a simple “Quaker clapboard” structure for the large Quaker community in Camden, NJ that dates back to 1679. Added to the historic register in 1971, this meetinghouse still serves as an active gathering site for the Religious Society of Friends.

𝐌𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐑𝐨𝐳𝐢𝐞𝐫 (𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝟏, 𝟏𝟗𝟔𝟏) — Graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, went on to play football for Nebraska. In 1982, he was named all-American and in 1983 he won the Heisman trophy.

𝐉𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐲 𝐉𝐨𝐞 𝐖𝐚𝐥𝐜𝐨𝐭𝐭 (𝐚𝐤𝐚 𝐀𝐫𝐧𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐑𝐚𝐲𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦, 𝐉𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟑𝟏, 𝟏𝟗𝟏𝟒 — 𝐅𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟐𝟓, 𝟏𝟗𝟗𝟒) — Heavyweight champion of the world in 1951 at the age of 37. Held the record for the oldest person to be heavyweight champion until George Forman in 1994. After boxing, he dabbled in acting and went on to become Camden County Sheriff.

For more information on the project contact the City of Camden, Clerk’s Office, Records Management and Archives Unit at pamccart@ci.camden.nj.us. 

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