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December   7

Demolition Full Speed Ahead: a Photo Album

Pink spray paint marks off proposed roads and lots throughout the Marlboro Inn property today. Steve Plofker allowed us to take pictures throughout the inn, but declined comment and refused to have his picture taken. While we snapped, he met with business associates, huddled under umbrellas, and walked the property.

Plofker cleared the latest hurdle in his plan to build 10 houses on the site yesterday, when a court ruled against preservationists who had sued him and the town of Montclair. More on that decision here.

More pictures on the jump. Click any image for a larger picture.


December 7, 2004 in Marlboro Inn | Permalink


The prospect of Marlboro Inn being knocked down, now that it seems an imminent reality, is one of the saddest things I can imagine. The inn's decor at Christmas, and it's crackling fireplace, will live on as memories for me far into the future.

Mr. Plofker will never be able to buy a good reputation, no matter the extent of his future charity efforts. He will forever be associated with one of the saddest and most unnecessary architectural errors in Montclair history.

Posted by: Sad-loser | Dec 7, 2004 2:00:28 PM

"one of the saddest and most unnecessary architectural errors"

the place was a dump.

good riddance.

call in the bulldozers!

Posted by: Left Of Center, like Suzanne Vega | Dec 7, 2004 3:43:27 PM


at least we are in step 4, step 5 can only be around the corner!

Posted by: Right of Center | Dec 7, 2004 3:52:17 PM

I only wish it were possible to "develop away" people with rude, unkind attitudes toward others, while we're getting rid of sad elements to our otherwise lovely community.

But you have a right to your meanness and bitter words. Blessings of the season on you.

Posted by: Sad-loser | Dec 7, 2004 5:02:35 PM

I think that one picture is of a room Sabine and I stayed at when we were up house hunting from DC 2 yrs ago.

Total post-frumpy-dumpy-musty-chic... but a nice initial threadbare memory of our soon to be new hometown... stuff like this is tough to replace, but doable, eventually. Give 100 yrs or so. It happens, it really does.

But an architect and builder who designs houses like this with their bare asses facing a main gateway route into our fair burg should be ashamed, now and for all time.

Posted by: Thom Kennon | Dec 7, 2004 8:57:36 PM

Is there someplace online where I could look at the new plan for the block? Just from the description it doesn't sound so bad, but i'd love to see a rendering. And why are backyards facing Watchung Avenue a bad thing? I mean assuming they're not full of old cars and rusty appliances (a fair assumption given who can afford new houses in Montclair these days), they're likely to be well-planted and green, wouldn't you think?

Posted by: McP | Dec 7, 2004 9:51:34 PM

Once again, greed triumphs. This was so unnecessary-- when there were people ready and willing to buy and preserve it. But Plofker was determined to make his killing. Guess one can never, never be rich enough.

Posted by: latebloomer | Dec 7, 2004 10:40:11 PM

And to all you Friends of Plofker on the Town Council-- shame on you, too!!

Posted by: latebloomer | Dec 7, 2004 10:51:40 PM

Here's the drawings for the Marlboro Development:


check out the distance from the front porch to the street: 17 feet

check out the size of the front yard: 6 feet

Check out the distance to your next store neighbor: 12 feet


Posted by: carya | Dec 7, 2004 11:25:54 PM

And why are backyards facing Watchung Avenue a bad thing?

Have you seen the rear-yards on Mt Hebron across from the church and cemetery close to Valley Road? They aren't very attractive in my opinion; why should we think Watchung's will be any different?

Posted by: Sad-loser | Dec 7, 2004 11:41:27 PM

See the stained glass in the photos? On the night more than a year ago when Plofker first unveiled to the public his plans for the site I sketched those just in case they were destined for the trash heap. To those who label the whole structure a dump--those windows will soon be gone. The French doors? Gone. The fireplace? Gone.
Sure, the Marlboro Inn is replaceable. Just like the elected officials who let this happen.

Posted by: John Barth | Dec 8, 2004 2:07:35 AM


Take a *good* look at the drawing. The "front" yards are small, but the back yards and sides of the end properties are much further from Watchung and Grove respectively. Like 28 feet. Looks like an effort to be "gentle" to the view from those streets.

Perhaps you'd rather have large front yards and the backs of the garages right on Watchung?

Posted by: Right of Center | Dec 8, 2004 7:16:59 AM


If you would like to preserve those things, you should speak to Plofker, I have heard he is letting items go for donations to charity.

Posted by: Right of Center | Dec 8, 2004 7:20:10 AM

That is hardly the point.

Posted by: latebloomer | Dec 8, 2004 9:09:42 AM

Well, what is the point, then?

Plofker bought some property and is doing what he wants with it. A community group lobbied unsuccessfully to stop him. This is life, this is commerce. Things change, buildings get replaced. I hardly think the Marlboro Inn is the equivalent to the Colliseum in Rome. It's an old Inn that was in disrepair and soon it will be gone.

I can only hope all the complaining over it's departure will soon be gone as well.

Are R.O.C. and I the only people who think this way?

Posted by: Left Of Center, like Suzanne Vega | Dec 8, 2004 10:07:24 AM

Personally I think they should tear down the inn and put up something worth preserving (the Coliseum, perhaps?)

Call me a dreamer...

Posted by: lex | Dec 8, 2004 10:16:33 AM


Good point re. rear yards vs. front yards. I should have clarified. My concern is that I have kids who like to play on the front porch, where they can interact with kids from the neighborhood. If there's 16 feet between the front porch and the street, I don't feel it's safe. You know, balls go out into the street, kids play around, etc. There's going to be cars going by at 25 mph 16 feet from the porch.

Nonetheless, there are communities where having these densities is a plus. This said from someone whose family grew up in brownstones in the Bronx.

By the way, the charity angle was great. The stuff gets to go to people who will appreciate it, and the buyer gets a tax deduction!


Posted by: carya | Dec 8, 2004 10:24:35 AM

We live within sight of the Marlboro Inn and know what weekday mornings are like on Grove Street and Watchung. The traffic from that intersection backs up three or four blocks at some points.

Do you really think people are not going to take the turn onto Plofker Lane to avoid it if it furthers their travel goals? And when they do, at breakneck morning speeds, do you think those folks with the six-foot setbacks are going to feel their little kiddies are safe? Or, the neighbors on Christopher Street?

But Mr. Plofker claims he would love to have lived on such a street when he and his wife first started out in Montclair. My questions: If so, why didn't they move to Levittown? and, Why, then, does he now live behind a fence, an enormous setback and, in effect, a moat, if neighborly proximity of that sort is so darn nice?

I have an idea about the last question: it's because he knows how sorely he has violated good will in this community.

Posted by: Sad-loser | Dec 8, 2004 3:23:42 PM

Why can't the Marlboro Inn be renovated and made into a school? We certainly need a new school in town. I am so sad to see the Inn torn down because of one person's greed.

Posted by: Violet | Dec 9, 2004 3:45:42 PM

I'll take "day late and dollar short" for 400 Alex.

Posted by: Right of Center | Dec 9, 2004 3:50:56 PM

O, Richard O Colgan, why o why do you hate our freedom so much?

why don't you join the ayatollahs, you friggin facist?

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