The strong community presence initially drew me to Winfield Park. A sense of equality, shared values and pride was evident in every aspect of the tiny community. During my first walk around the neighborhood, I was struck by the unique architecture and landscape of the town. Winfield Park was built in 1941 under the Lanham Act to house World War II Defense Workers from nearby shipyards. Learning about the history of Winfield Park helped me to understand how it has shaped the community into what it is today
The town itself is small: 1500 residents, living in 700 units, on six streets. It is physically surrounded by a river in Rahway River Park, but the isolation goes beyond the physical aspect. Generations of families live within Winfield Park, and houses are passed down from father to son. It is as if they are hanging on to the past, and trying to preserve their unique community. There is a strong sense of nostalgia among the long-term members of Winfield Park about the town. Its beginnings were rough and shaky, but the original residents persevered and developed the company town into a strong community.
When I walk around Winfield Park, I feel as if I’m in a time capsule. The architecture, the quaint outdoor decorations, and the ambience of Americana all speak to me. I have always had a strong interest in historical architecture, as well as most things vintage and old. I find myself yearning to live in the past, perhaps the 1940s, and this is what spurs me to keep going back to Winfield Park. When walking around I feel like I've left the 21st century and into a time when the world was safe and sheltered. I feel like I can step into a town that is visually old-fashioned, as well as psychologically old-fashioned.