Some of my clients end up in Montclair because they're looking to raise their kids in a diverse and accepting community. Others show up because we have lots of trains and buses into Manhattan. Still others want to be here because you don't need to put make-up on to go to the supermarket (someone actually told me that's why she settled here). And all those things are true. But there's also an elegance about Montclair that is often breathtaking - from the mountaintop views of the New York City skyline to the old world charm of shopping on Church Street. However, nothing is as elegant as the stately homes throughout town.
Local photographer, Andrew Wander, captured that elegance in a gorgeous coffee table book he published a few years ago - Stately Homes of Montclair. It features 50 local homes, inside and out, and one of them is more stunning than the last. As a former architecture student, I appreciate the way he captures the detail in these old and magnificent homes. And as an inveterate walker, I love flipping through the pages and saying to myself, one after another, "Oh, I walk by that house all the time."
This is a book I've given as a house-warming gift to my clients, and I wanted to pass it on as a special gift for anyone who loves old homes, fine architecture, refined design, or just has a little extra space to fill on their coffee table. You can pick up a copy at Watchung Booksellers or order it through a link on the Facebook page. (Or you can just spend some quality time with it at either Montclair or Glen Ridge Public Library!) I really don't mean to sound like a shill - what I mean is, it will make you fall in love with this town again and again and again.
Photo by Andrew Wander