Preservation Awards

The Montclair Historic Preservation Commission conducts the Preservation Awards to highlight significant individuals, development projects and other historic preservation activity in the Township of Montclair.

The Preservation Awards are typically awarded in May, which is proclaimed as Preservation Month by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Nominations for the 2020 Preservation Awards will open in March 2020.

The 2020 Preservation Awards will be presented at the May 28, 2020 meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission.

Awards are presented in one of three different categories:

  • Bricks & Mortar Preservation Award: This award recognizes excellence in the preservation and restoration of historic buildings, interpretation of architectural features and compatible design in new construction, and adaptive reuse of historic structures. Judging standards include architectural integrity and compatibility, successful adaptation or continued use of a historic structure, quality of construction, craftsmanship, and/or technical excellence.  This award is presented separately to both residential and non-residential projects.
  • Preservation Service Award: This award recognizes outstanding achievement in and support for furthering the aims of historic preservation in Montclair Township, including research, development, planning, advocacy, and local community leadership. Individuals, businesses, and organizations are eligible. All nominated individuals must live or work in Montclair. 
  • Preservationist of the Year Award: This award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the better understanding of the Township’s history and to the preservation of Montclair’s historic architectural fabric. The individual will be recognized for furthering public education of the town’s history and promoting its historic preservation through major projects, undertakings, offices or positions held, and the duration of the nominee’s significant accomplishments.

Previous Award Recipients

2019 Award Recipients

Bricks & Mortar Preservation Award

  • Residential: 20 Clinton Avenue – Thomas House

    Homeowners John & Elizabeth Thomas and Francis C. Klein & Associates Architects will be recognized for the reconstruction of an historically accurate porch that returned this 19th century house to its original charm. In keeping with the historic period, the homeowners and Francis C. Klein & Associates also removed the 20th century additions of a classical pediment, sunray transom window and lighting fixtures. The fish scale and diamond shingles coexist happily with the new metal seam roof. In addition, the removal of the shutters further enhances the Queen Anne character of this house.

  • Residential: 21 Plymouth Street & 41 Plymouth Street

    Developer Sustainable Sanctuary Homes, LLC and Sionas Architecture, P.C. will be recognized for the rehabilitation of these two vintage Montclair homes, one from the 1890's and the other from the 1910's that have been renovated and rehabilitated into multi-family dwellings. Paul Sionas and Sustainable Sanctuary Homes have adaptively reused two prime examples of Montclair's architecture. Restoring and improving the two exteriors reinforces the domestic character of Plymouth Street, reminiscent of the time when one family homes lined the street. Removing aluminum siding, improving the driveway, adding substantial landscaping and removing medical office space has vastly improved 21 Plymouth Street. The work on 41 Plymouth Street maintains its Colonial Craftsmen stucco exterior while offering modern amenities in two units. This type of adaptive reuse is encouraged and ensures that Montclair's streetscapes will maintain their attractive charm and character.

  • Non-Residential: 222-230 Bloomfield Avenue

    Property owner WE MCL Holdings, LLC, design firm Green Stories, LLC, architect Mark Bess and American Terracotta LLC will be recognized for the restoration and replication of the historic façade of this building.  Hidden beneath aluminum siding, the team has worked to remove the non-historic elements and restore the façade to its prior condition.  American Terracotta, LLC replicated historic terracotta elements.  The restoration of the façade maintains the historic building in the Town Center Historic District and improves the commercial area.

  • Non-Residential: 237-249 Lorraine Avenue – Warner Building

    Property owner Michael Pavel and architect Jarmel Kizel will be recognized for their restoration of this Harmonizing building in the Upper Montclair Historic Business District.  The restoration of the historic building and the sensitive new addition to the rear retains the historic character while providing modern amenities.·    

  • Institutional: Montclair Public Library – Bellevue Branch

    The Bellevue Avenue Branch Library, designed by Francis A. Nelson, a Montclair resident working in the New York architectural firm of Nelson and Van Wagenen, is a Carnegie funded library dating from 1913. It is listed on the New Jersey and National registers of historic places and the local historic district of Upper Montclair Business District. In 2016, the Montclair Public Library decided to repair the historic "Austral" windows which are a character defining element of the building. Working with Mary Delaney Krugman, Preservation Specialist, these patented self-balanced windows were repaired and returned to working order. Dell-Tech was selected as the restoration contractor because of their experience with rehabilitation of historic windows. Ms. Krugman and the project team of Morse Associates of Poestenkill, NY and DBC Preservation Architecture of Glenmont supervised the entire restoration. Historic paint samples from the building were uncovered and the Austral windows were returned to their original condition. The finished project has enhanced one of the most important buildings in the Upper Montclair Historic District.

    Preservation Service Award

  • Friends of Anderson Park

Anderson Park is an oasis of greenery and tranquility adjoining the Upper Montclair Historic Business District, the Boonton-Greenwood Lake commuter train line and the residential areas of Oakcroft and North Mountain Ave. An Olmsted Brothers designed landscape gives Anderson Park a naturalistic setting with informal plantings and winding pathways. Scott Kevelson, president and founder of the Friends of Anderson Park, a non-profit conservancy, has worked tirelessly to promote the natural, cultural, historic and educational qualities of the site. Their stewardship includes maintenance and replenishment of the original Olmsted plantings. Since 2006, they have planted 160 trees and 60 shrubs, including a rose bed, in cooperation with the Essex County Parks. They host an annual "Music Under the June Moon" event, plus numerous educational incentives such as the short-story contest and art projects. Nominated to the State and National registers in 2009, through the efforts of Lisanne Renner, Anderson Park with Scott Kevelson at the helm, continues to surprise and invigorate the current residents of Montclair.

Preservationist of the Year Award

  • Donato DiGeronimo

    Mr. DiGeronimo is a Board Member of the Montclair History Center and a partner with Montclair State University to preserve the diverse and varied histories of Montclair.  He is a fount of information about Montclair history from one corner of the town to the other, a booster of Montclair’s history through his involvement and leadership in scores of civic committees over the years, Donato is a homegrown historian helping to capture and make more widely known the multiethnic history that has made Montclair into a culturally rich community.

  • Lisanne Renner

    Lisanne Renner has shown a passion & commitment level to Montclair 's history and preservation over many years.  This includes special projects (e.g. researching, compiling and presenting the History of The Bellevue Theater) or her Friends of Anderson Park ongoing community outreach (e.g. annual historical walking tours of Upper Montclair Village and Anderson Park).  She regularly attends township meetings and community functions to further historic preservation understanding and practice.  She is one of Montclair's most ardent advocates of Historic Preservation.

    Preservationist of the Year Award – Special Recognition

  • Rev. Royal F. Shepard, Jr.

Mr. Shepard will be recognized for his special contribution to the Township of Montclair.  Mr. Shepard was sworn in as Township Historian by the Township Council on July 23, 1996 and served in the role until 2004.  During this time, he also served on the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission beginning in March 1999 and serving as Vice Chair of the Commission from February 2000 until his resignation from the Commission in December 2002.  He also served as a Trustee for the Montclair Historical Society (now the Montclair History Center).

Mr. Shepard was born and raised in Montclair, loved the history of the Township and shared his knowledge of the history with many.  In 2003, he published the book “Montclair” with his daughter Elizabeth Shepard.  In addition, he provided contributions to the Montclair 125th anniversary book, Montclair 1868-1993, and Montclair Millennium Book 2000-2002.

Mr. Shepard also created the Montclair History Roundtable, a forum to discuss the Township’s History, led walking tours, conducted presentations, and served as a regular contributor and historic verifier for the Montclair Times.

Mr. Shepard passed away earlier in 2019 and the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission is proud to recognize his many significant contributions to the Township’s history.

2018 Award Recipients

Bricks & Mortar Preservation Award

  • Timothy Bray will be recognized for his rehabilitation of the residential dwelling at 107 Claremont Avenue, a vernacular Queen Anne home, built in 1881.
  • Willow Street Partners & Sionas Architecture will be recognized for their rehabilitation and restoration of the Georgian Inn, now known as The George Hotel, at 37 North Mountain Avenue.

Preservation Service Award

  • The Montclair History Center and Montclair Public Library will be recognized for collaborative effort to further the aims of historic preservation by co-hosting the popular “Researching Your Home’s History” series with the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission.
  • The Montclair Rotary Club, the Family of Don Miller and Mr. Frank Gerard Godlewski will be recognized for their collaborative effort to preserve Montclair’s history by permanently installing a copy of Montclair native Don Miller’s The Martin Luther King Freedom Mural for local viewing at the Montclair Public Library. 

Preservationist of the Year Award

  • Ms. Jane M. Eliasof, Executive Director of the Montclair History Center, will be recognized for her passion for history and commitment to listen to and share all voices in Montclair’s history in the programs and initiatives she has implemented at the Montclair History Center.

2017 Award Recipients

Bricks & Mortar Preservation Award

  • The Deron School was recognized for their work on the former Grove Street School building and grounds at 130 Grove Street.
  • Willow Street Partners & Sionas Architecture were recognized for their rehabilitation and restoration of the former Inspection Station building, located at 16 Label Street.
  • St. James Episcopal Church and its team were recognized for the restoration of the Bell Tower at St. James Episcopal Church at 581 Valley Road in Upper Montclair.

Preservationist of the Year Award

  • Mr. Michael Farrelly, Trustee of the Montclair History Center and Township Historian, was recognized for his passion for history, thorough and detail-oriented research, and generosity in furthering public education of the town’s history and promoting its historic preservation.

2015 Award Recipients

Bricks & Mortar Preservation Award (Non-Residential)

  • The Montclair Historical Society was recognized for their efforts to rehabilitate the Crane House & Historic YWCA, located at 110 Orange Road
  • Notchwood, LLC was recognized for their redevelopment work of the Upper Montclair Train Station

Bricks & Mortar Preservation Award (Residential)

  • Goran & Selma Avdicevic and Classics Reborn were recognized for their efforts to restore the porch of the Harry Fenn House located at 208 North Mountain Avenue.

Preservation Service Award

  • The Montclair Garden Club was recognized for their continued efforts to maintain and protect the Avis Campbell Memorial Garden, located behind the Social Services Building at 60 South Fullerton Avenue

Preservationist of the Year Award

  • Mr. William Fischer, local historian and former Local History and Community Information Supervisor the Montclair Public Library, was recognized for his commitment to preserve and share Montclair’s history
  • Dr. Susan Nowicki was recognized for her dissertation entitled “Montclair, New Jersey: the development of a suburban town and its architecture” which was published by the City University of New York.
  • Mr. Frank Godlewski was recognized for his efforts to host events and promote the historic fabric of Montclair.