In 1995, AAFNJ purchased the Ambrose-Ward Mansion in East Orange, NJ to establish a cultural and educational center for the City of East Orange and the region of Essex County.
This historical mansion has splendid wood paneled walls, a grand staircase, authentic antique furnishings, ceiling murals and eight marble fireplaces. The 12,500 sq. ft. mansion is an ideal location for a variety of events such as art exhibitions, lectures, and music recitals, as well as location site for feature films and magazine photo sessions.
The mansion also serves as our headquarters and is available for individuals who would like to lease the venue for special occasions, meetings and community events. To lease out the Ambrose-Ward Mansion for your events, please fill out our rental application.
The exterior of the mansion is gray limestone and is three stories high. The mass of the building is characterized by alternating bands of rough and smooth finished stone, and is enlivened by porticos piazzas and bay windows. From the outside of the structure, there are a number of noticeable leaded window panels framed by the massive façade.
The mansion features several series of intricately carved moldings through its’ three floors and eight marble fireplaces. The curved staircase is made of varnished oak. The newel posts remain in place and still have their original glass.
The ceiling mural in the living room is part of what once was an exact reproduction of the famous Pink Drawing Room of Louis XVI. The large dining room is paneled in mahogany with a buffet, closet and serving arrangement covering one entire wall. The music room located on the second level is classic for the period, hosting open shelve book cases and a beveled glass door that leads into the solarium at the south end of the building.
There are seven bedrooms on the second floor. The seventh bedroom or Green Room is richly appointed with lacquered wood trim moldings. The walls and ceiling of the master bath are covered with a replica of what appears to be a Botticelli oil painting on canvas.
The third floor has three additional bedrooms and an arched ceiling billiards room that is the length of the first floor music room.
Today the second and third floors of the mansion are the administrative offices of the African American Fund of New Jersey.