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April  28

Passing On The Message


A reader writes...

Hello Barista,

There's no way to contact/email the Duryea house petition organizers on your website, so I was hoping you might pass along some advice to them.

My neighbors and I were talking about this important issue, and the lack of publicity for the petition. With no article in the current Montclair Times about their petition, and nothing posted on the montclair watercooler (unless we all missed it), they are missing big opportunities to spread the word and get more signatures. Perhaps they should extend their may 4th deadline, press the Montclair Times for coverage next week, and definitely send an email to the Montclair Watercooler too (1800 members!!).

Love your website-

thank you and keep up the great work!

Meanwhile, if you are sick of wondering what 4 Duryea Road looks like on the inside, here are some more pictures of the home (click to enlarge), including an office with pocket doors that I'd kill for...



April 28, 2006 in Buzz | Permalink


What a beautiful house.

Posted by: Anne Prince | Apr 28, 2006 1:00:01 PM

Agreed. Van Note has no soul if he wants to tear this down. What a pity.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 28, 2006 1:05:28 PM

Wow. You can just tell that the house is structurally unsound -- I mean, yellow carpet and dated kitchen? Sheesh, it's a miracle it's still standing. The photographer must be glad they escaped the near-collapse!

/sarcasm off.

Posted by: appletony | Apr 28, 2006 1:51:03 PM

Those arced windows are to die for.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 28, 2006 1:54:34 PM

front stoop looks a little shaky...time to tear down the house.

sarcasm off!

Posted by: Iceman | Apr 28, 2006 2:12:24 PM

I dunno Appletony - that carpet appeared Orange to me, which we all know is much more dangerous than yellow!

Run for your lives......

Posted by: Anne Prince | Apr 28, 2006 2:27:28 PM

Yes, MM, those windows are deadly. The house must go in order to protect us all!

Posted by: appletony | Apr 28, 2006 2:30:33 PM

That is GORGEOUS!!!!!!

Posted by: backsore | Apr 28, 2006 4:14:14 PM

My take is that snarking on Mr. Van Note isn't going to help the case.

Maybe he's discovering that the lustre of a project which looked good on paper is starting to tarnish now that it's made contact with the real world.

Prod & persuade, sez I.

Posted by: crank | Apr 28, 2006 4:23:35 PM

It is ironic that a real estate agent, who's probably written thousands of saccharine descriptions of quaint Montclair homes oozing charm etc, now wants to tear such a beautiful one down.

Posted by: walleroo | Apr 28, 2006 10:55:06 PM

Sorry to say, but the house obviously was neglected and if saved, needs quite a bit of structural and decoratative changes. Old is good when it is kept up. Old is NOT good when it has not been given the care it deserves and shows it!! Kinda like people. The house needs more than a "face lift" and some botox. If we want the older houses to merit "awe" they must be kept in shape. The office pocket doors, while unique open into an office that looks like a makeshift garage office.....where's the curb appeal??? What's with the yellow/orange carpet and the kitchen??? Can you only imagine the roof and HVAC and plumbing???

Posted by: DiPoz | Apr 29, 2006 1:59:44 PM

DiPoz, the "structural changes" you mention are still only cosmetic, since that is what curb appeal is all about. Orange carpet is easily pulled up and the kitchen can be updated - or just painted and a new floor put in. It depends on your level of perfectionism. We bought our house in Bloomfield almost 20 years ago and it needed everything. We are still working on it! It is a labor of love. Keep in mind that the price Van Note paid for this house is probably low for what the house could sell for once it is renovated. I see in Barista's real estate section that many houses of this size and caliber which are undoubtedly in more move-in condition than this one, go for well OVER a million.

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Apr 29, 2006 3:33:02 PM

P.S. I wish my kitchen looked as good as this one does...

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Apr 29, 2006 3:34:15 PM

Mauigirl52, your kitchen is not for sale nor is your house. The kitchen is easily over 25 years old and needs a total renovation. Naturally, if all the changes were made it wouldn't be a teardown. Sure, carpet can be ripped up, etc. but whatever is under them is going to need work as well. If you love your house and want to pass it on to another family to live in it then it's got to be liveable.

Posted by: DiPoz | Apr 30, 2006 12:46:49 PM

DiPoz - Tearing down a house every time the kitchen and carpet need updating makes as much sense as junking your car when it needs new tires and an oil change.

If it's just a money thing with you (and Van Note), and you don't place any value on history or character of our town, that's your choice. However most of us see Montclair as more than a place to make a quick buck chopping up old houses.

Posted by: Backsore | May 1, 2006 9:50:14 AM

"If it's just a money thing with you (and Van Note), and you don't place any value on history or character of our town, that's your choice. However most of us see Montclair as more than a place to make a quick buck chopping up old houses."

The real question is, by what right to you override *his* choice about *his* property?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | May 1, 2006 9:52:54 AM

I agree with Backsore. To prove my point, does anyone remember the eyesore Victorian that was across the street from the Montclair Public Library? The hosue was in a shambles, the porch was rotting, the yard looked like a rainforest. When the elderly owner moved away, the house was not razed but was restored back into one of the most charming homes in Montclair. Yes, it was made into condos but it fits in with the neighborhood. I wish I had before and after photos.

Not everything needs to be torn down. These developers should take out their aggression in the gym, not on Montclair's grand homes.

Posted by: Miss Martta | May 1, 2006 9:58:05 AM

That house on S. Fullerton, across from the library is phenomenal - it's a real beauty now. For years the Town had tried to condemn the property (I recall they wanted to bulldoze it for a parking lot?). The old owner was in court, fighting them every step.

Posted by: Backsore | May 1, 2006 10:46:06 AM

I remember that house! I was so happy when it was renovated and now is as beautiful as its "twin" next door. I didn't know it was condos, that's great to hear. Shows how adaptive reuse of some of these old houses can save them and keep the ambience of the neighborhood.

As for DiPoz, my kitchen is perfectly "liveable." I can cook in it, wash the dishes in it, and prepare meals in it. And the one in the picture is even more "liveable" as it is arranged better. I guess you and I differ on what you consider "liveable." I'm sure there are some people who would be thrilled to have the kitchen at 4 Duryea. You must be pretty snobby to think that only a state-of-the-art perfect kitchen is "liveable."

Posted by: mauigirl52 | May 1, 2006 11:06:24 AM

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