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...keeping up with the Joneses
(Way) Before and After

We showed you 80 South Mountain here, which almost seems like a steal when compared to the similarly-priced model home at Crisco. Frank Gerard Godlewski showed us what it used to look like, before it went Tudor in the late 1920s...


May 3, 2007


who was the builder that butchered this beauty

Posted by: ??? | May 3, 2007 9:45:50 PM

Actually it looks rather well balanced in its current shape.

It's going to be on the market for a long time though, 2006 taxes were $46,541. HELLO?...ANY IDIOTS OUT THERE?

Montclair taxes are nuts. I'm sick of putting poor peoples kids through (way too many) schools. Moving to NY State asap!

Posted by: Trebor | May 7, 2007 6:18:09 PM

Frank, why do think the total rebuild? Even the pitch of the roof looks different. Fire maybe?

Trebor- you're putting some rich kids through school too if that helps. You're gonna have to move pretty far upstate to beat the taxes.

Posted by: richs | May 9, 2007 11:37:00 AM

I dont think that this makeover is a total rebuild or because of a fire. (look at the windows)

The Tudor makeovers that happened all over the Montclair hillside follow a trend that happened after the 1909 Nolan Report. The Nolan Report prepared for the Municipal Arts Council of Montclair in 1909 was an urban planning survey that would have been used to provide an appropriate type of town development. Mr. Nolan’s examples suggest a rural English countryside hamlet “look” for buildings and a Town Commons, using the site of the old cemetery (now the Sienna Building site) Since Victorian and Shingle Style architecture was going out of style, several houses and buildings had Tudor make-overs. 80 South Mountain, 121 South Mountain, 14 Undercliff and the Marlboro Inn are examples of Tudor Make-overs. I would think that from the 1910s to the late 1930s several local builders were engaged to satisfy this demand.

Its interesting to see what Nolan has to say in 1909

“The Montclair of today has already, largely through thoughtlessness, created innumerable scars, blots upon the fair, natural face of the country, and, except in the beauty of private places, it has added little to atone for its destruction. The continuation of the present policy would be fatal. The Montclair of tomorrow should witness the preservation and, in some cases, the restoration of the natural attractiveness of the place, and should provide in many ways a new and more appropriate type of town development, one that will be worth more than its cost and add immeasurably to the daily satisfaction of everybody living in Montclair. The banding of the townspeople together to achieve these results will do even more-it will nourish a better town spirit.”

John Nolan

March 6, 1909

Posted by: frankgg | May 10, 2007 5:45:34 PM

Yes - Rich kids too, I guess.

My real point is that one would have to pay $130 a day in property tax - just for the "pleasure" of owning this cliche of English architecture.

Oh, and thats besides the $10K a month ($330 a day) that you would be losing in interest - if you were to just keep the money in the bank.

Add sewer / water and utilities and you're looking at a -$500 a day "investment".

Personally, I'll take the penthouse at the Four Seasons - thank you very much!

Posted by: Trebor | May 11, 2007 4:55:59 AM

The Barista needs to become a bit more sophisticated when comparing pricing.

While the McManionish Plofker-crisco homes may have been the same price as this South Mountain Tudor -- the Tudor needs a full rehab..kitchen, baths, some common room restoration etc. etc.

We've reviewed it in detail for a potential buyer.

In contrast, the Crisco stuff is fully done and for whatever reason, in this market, at this time...fully done (even tacky) is adding more value for homes requiring 'I have to still live there/or hold it while the work is being done' buyers who need major renovations.

We go though cycles...sometimes people want fixer-uppers (usually when money is very cheap)...other times...buyers just want to unpack and be done.

Who does and pays for the work when, is the defining issue.

So you can have two totally different properties in terms of underlying value if both were renovated like like these two being compared....but with one in a "need everything" condition and the other done, (be it badly) -- the pricing can still appear to be the same.

Martin Schwartz
Textured Home
Restoration Contractors &

Posted by: martin Schwartz | May 12, 2007 11:34:24 AM