Glen Ridge Home Owner Claps Back To Historic Preservation Commission


The Glen Ridge Historic Preservation Commission protects the integrity of the buildings and homes in the Glen Ridge Historic District, but it’s getting called out for going too far in its zeal to maintain the borough’s beautiful housing stock by one property owner.

Ridgewood Avenue Homeowner Julia Dolfin was livid when she learned from her husband that a member of the HPC made a disparaging comment about her house, calling it “the most unsightly home in Glen Ridge” at a commission meeting on November 1.

Shortly after, Dolfin put up this sign.

“We figured the sign would be a comical way to draw attention to how the HPC behaved,” says Dolfin, of the sign, placed on the property’s corner of Washington and Ridgewood Ave.

Dolfin’s home is undergoing exterior renovations. Below is a picture of the home, with work in progress, and what the home originally looked like.

Baristanet reached out to the GR HPC and will publish any response we receive.


  1. Yes, an uncalled for, hyperbolical comment by a member of the HPC. But, I’m guessing by the recent meeting date and the progress on the renovations that 1) the member was in the minority to what the majority approved, or 2) the homeowners proceeded without first obtaining HPC approval first.

    And since the renovations are not complete, it is hard to see what the end design will be. It is also unclear whether this house has some specific historic criteria or if it is just part of the village historic zone. I’ll also guess the latter.

    Since the homeowners are encouraging public comment, the renovations to me are unsympathetic & inconsistent with the period of the house. The proportions of the addition, the porch, and others details are visually confusing by integrating periods in a way that tries to suggest they are compatible. The result is a design that is neither here nor there – but less.

    This is an example of why towns decide to have strong HPCs. They do no advocate one style or period, but provide a review layer to ensure modifications protect the integrity of the original period. A key HP guideline would recommend not trying to make the addition look like it may have been part of the original house (or make the original house look like the addition).

  2. These people are investing a lot of money in their home. Good for them and good for Glen Ridge.

    This house is in no way historic, it’s a 1960s ranch. The renovations look great!

  3. “I’m guessing…”

    “I’ll also guess…”

    In other words, Mr Rubacky has NO facts other than what was offered in the article, yet professes to understand the situation with a clarity not supported by any statements. Worse, he does so by prattling on at greater length than the original article.

    Boring, obtuse and pedantic is not an easy trifecta, but Mr. Rubacky’s deathly prose holds this cup high.

  4. A better design would have reinforced the lines of the original home and kept the original gable as the main focus.

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