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Lakewood Heritage Center Master Plan


With much gratitude for the input from hundreds of Lakewood residents and the Lakewood Heritage Center visitors, the 2017-2027 Master Plan builds on the original 1996 plan that established the Heritage Center as a 20th century museum and provides the framework for the center’s success over the next decade.


LHC Master Plan 1


Situated on 15 acres in the southeast corner of Belmar Park, the Lakewood Heritage Center (LHC) is a 20th century museum whose mission is to connect the community and its generations to the 20th century history and heritage of Lakewood by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting artifacts and through engaging and innovative programs, experiences and community events. The Lakewood Heritage Center belongs to the citizens and serves as a living embodiment of the city – past, present and future.


The Lakewood Heritage Center was opened in 1976 by the Lakewood Historical Society and turned over to the City in 1977. It is unique in its emphasis on preserving and promoting 20th Century Lakewood history and was designed to accommodate both historical and cultural programming.


LHC Master Plan 3

The Lakewood Heritage Center is comprised of 13 historic buildings, exhibition galleries, a festival area, an outdoor amphitheater and walking paths on 15 acres. The Heritage Center houses and cares for more than 35,000 preserved artifacts that showcase the city’s history dating back to the early 20th century. Tours, educational programs, outdoor concerts, festivals and rental facilities are available. 


Citizen input and engagement is at the heart of the Heritage Center’s new Master Plan for 2017-2027. Extensive input was gathered via open house events, online surveys (conducted in both English and Spanish), as well as planning discussions during Cider Days. The engagement, solicited from the fall of 2016 through the winter of 2017, also included roundtables with historians, business owners, civic leaders, volunteers, museum visitors and partners as well as elected officials.


The 2017 Master Plan builds on the original 1996 plan that established the Lakewood Heritage Center as a 20th century museum to honor the city’s past. The 2017 Master Plan continues the work that remains to be completed from the 1996 plan and incorporates fresh community input and recommendations to modernize and enhance the plan for the next decade.


The Vision is for the City of Lakewood, its residents and visitors, to benefit from a comprehensive and dynamic Heritage Center that engages all in multifaceted experiential learning, experiences and events telling the 20th century history of Lakewood. This provides the opportunity to weave the threads of our heritage into the tapestry of today’s celebrations, for which the Heritage Center serves as a unique gathering space.