Arndt Recreates Former Cogswell School in Gingerbread to Support ArtSpace Fundraising Effort

Jenny Arndt’s George F. Cogswell School recreated in gingerbread. (Courtesy photograph.)

A local artist has taken on a holiday challenge every year since 2017 to not only create an elaborate gingerbread house, but to bring attention to good causes.

This year, Jenny Arndt chose to create a “decked out” gingerbread replica of the former George F. Cogswell School in Bradford, while highlighting the fundraising campaign to redevelop the building into Cogswell ArtSpace.

“This year’s house was definitely a challenge, but I hope that the heart behind it inspires more community members to do what they can to help Cogswell get to the finish line. Who knows what other creative masterpieces will one day come from that building?” She asked.

Arndt, already well known for her roles as Haverhill Promise’s campaign director and previously at Creative Haverhill, designed the gingerbread house complete with 79 sugar glass windows and a revolving colored light source inside. She said it took about 43 hours to complete.

“In the past I’ve selected Haverhill landmarks somewhat arbitrarily, but this year I chose Cogswell not only for its architectural beauty, but because I wanted to show it the way I imagine it will be when Cogswell ArtSpace opens, alive with energy and creativity!” She said.

In 2017 and 2018, Arndt created gingerbread renditions of the Tattersall Farmhouse and downtown Haverhill post office helped raise money for Tattersall Farm. In 2019, a unique house depicting the nursery rhyme “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe” was raffled off to support Haverhill Promise, Haverhill’s campaign for grade level reading. Last year, she teamed up with local media producer Matt Belfiore to film the destruction of a giant 2020 COVID-19 house to bring closure to a difficult year.

For the past seven years, the nonprofit arts organization, Creative Haverhill, has been managing a capital campaign to transform the 351 S. Main Street school into a community arts center. So far, the campaign has raised just over $2.3 million out of the $2.8 million it will cost to renovate the building and make it handicapped accessible.

Once renovated the Cogswell ArtSpace will house professional gallery space, multipurpose classrooms and meeting rooms, individual artist studio spaces and a maker space with ceramics labs, a printmaking studio and a woodshop. Arndt said she looks forward to one day having a studio space of her own at Cogswell ArtSpace.

To make a donation, or to learn more about the Cogswell ArtSpace project, visit

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