Renovation Report: 465 Park Street, Montclair

BY  |  Monday, Jun 02, 2014 4:06pm  |  COMMENTS (28)

Before

Before

Before

Before (Google Earth view)

There’s been had a lot of talk about teardowns and homes that seem incongruous in relation to the homes around them, but here’s a look at an older home at 465 Park Street that underwent a renovation without a radical change to its exterior height or footprint. 465 Park Street was purchased last year to be developed by a neighbor. The home, situated on a 1-acre wooded lot, was renovated by the team of Rachael Grochowski of RHG Design, acting as design architect, Sionas Architecture (Paul Sionas and Rick Jarzembowski) as the structural architects, and contractor Jack Finn.

The newly renovated house, which sold a few weeks ago to a buyer before being listed, came in at 7,262 square feet (5,858 of living space), and includes 5 bedrooms and 5 ½ baths, a chef’s kitchen, theater/media room, exercise room with a focus on environmentally green elements.

After

After

Says Grochowski, “465 Park was a project developed with the notion of how people live today. As a team, we discussed lifestyle and how it conflicts with the individual room layout of many homes in Montclair. I often have people who want an addition that includes an open plan with eat in kitchen, sitting area, master bedroom above, but then they don’t use the existing part of their home. I can’t tell you how many people say the never use their dining room. The objective with this home was to make the existing spaces more usable for modern families and connect the interior with the exterior, one of my personal objectives on all projects.”

park street dine

Grochowski and Finn said they spoke often about who the buyer would be.

“We imagined a family with children, but tried to consider other possibilities such as the extended family or even someone downsizing. Wanting to preserve the overall exterior aesthetic and yet respond to the desire for an more modern open plan I began walking the fine line between traditional and modern design (or establishing a transitional),” adds Grochowski, who says creating a balance of interesting, modern texture with traditional details was the challenge and goal.

“For example, I selected walnut (a traditional wood) for the kitchen cabinetry with a bleach-look finish (a modern aesthetic). This balance connects with the common desire for a Montclair buyer of loving the older traditional homes and a modern lifestyle. Green or environmentally sensitive finishes were used as a general practice for this team.”

Kitchen

Kitchen

Making sure not to over-scale the house was a concern, says Grochowski.

“We considered what additional rooms we had to have and which had to be larger,” she says. “We made trade offs such as leaving the master bedroom slightly smaller for the overall square footage of the home. We added a family room off the back which required a basement and provided a great opportunity to have a generous lower level including a bar, media room, and fitness room that walk out at grade. The additional square footage in the area alone was significant. The family room addition with a vaulted ceiling really increased the livability of the first floor. The whole family can be within ear shot and sight of each other. We enlarged the kitchen, added a mud room and first floor laundry room, spaces many clients ask to add to their homes. Extensive landscaping was also completed, making this a much more inviting home.

rear
Take a look at the house and tell us what you think of this renovation.

28 Comments

  1. POSTED BY mtcmom22boys  |  June 02, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

    So glad it wasn’t torn down but tastefully redone!

  2. POSTED BY frankgg  |  June 02, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

    HOW GREAT! I LOVE THIS REPORT!

  3. POSTED BY zidarich  |  June 03, 2014 @ 12:02 am

    This house (and the one next to it), are actually products of a tear down! A big ol’ Victorian occupied this site; and it was torn down in the 50’s for this house and the other.

    Directly across the street a beautiful queen anne was torn down in the 30’s and up were put about 18 colonial revival homes that now sit on Park, Inwood, and Inwood Terrace.

    Now, instead of future Montclair generations talking about what used to be there, they can look and see it for themselves. Agreed, love to see renovations over tear downs. Bravo!

  4. POSTED BY cspn55  |  June 03, 2014 @ 9:07 am

    this everyone likes? i believe that people should be allowed to remodel or tear down as they like and am against historic designations unless a home is actually significant for some reason, so this is fine with me. I am also happy to see a new owner joining the rest of us on the over-30s tax roll (I assume this is a +1MM home – maybe $1.4MM), but i find it odd that people complained in the other thread about some home styles but like this one. To me it looks like any run of the mill 1950-1960 era home with a different color addition tacked onto it. Maybe the picture doesn’t do it justice and the inside looks nice (though I don’t like the total use of earth-tones and lack of color), but this is just okay.

  5. POSTED BY zidarich  |  June 03, 2014 @ 11:38 am

    cspn55, I think the point is less about the style and architecture of the house itself, and more that someone decided to renovate and reinvest in one of Montclair’s homes. It gives back to the town, reinvests in its character, and helps the surrounding community and surrounding homeowner’s property values.

    I think people are comparing this to homes like the ones on Walnut Street and Lansing Place linked above, where an older home was needlessly torn down so someone (who was never going to actually live in the location) could cram as many cheaply built units as possible in its place. That person ends up profiting, but the character of the neighborhood is destroyed, the property values of surrounding homes suffer, and a downward trend begins.

    For me, it’s a big reason why historic designation is important. If you’re investing $30,000 a year in taxes alone into your property, you want to make sure your investment is going to be protected!

  6. POSTED BY cspn55  |  June 03, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

    check out any of the newer homes built in the estate section – Clinton, Gates and Melrose all have colonial-style homes that fit right into the neighborhood but were built in the last 15 years rather than 100 years ago. Protecting my investment would not mean that my neighbor could not put up a nicely appointed, modern signle family home in place of his falling down 1920 colonial that has ivy growing into it and a badly damaged walkway and front facade – it means no multi-family homes or apartment complexes be built in a single family area.

    Also whoever pointed out in a thread the new home going up on South Mountain and posted a picture of the house next to it, did not show the very ordinary 1975 split level, aluminum sided house on the other side of it. In fact there are a ton of ordinary 1960s/1970s homes interspersed with the classic early 1900s/late 1800s homes throughout town.

    My point is that the astethetic look of the outside is subjective – the use is objective and should be what any zoning board is more focused on.

  7. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  June 03, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

    zidarich,
    Thanks for sharing a little bit of the past history…always interesting.

    “For me, it’s a big reason why historic designation is important. If you’re investing $30,000 a year in taxes alone into your property, you want to make sure your investment is going to be protected!”

    “465 Park Street was purchased last year to be developed by a neighbor.”

    I am glad the property wasn’t redeveloped for whatever the neighbor’s reason, but I seriously doubt it was due to the historic aspects of the house. But, that’s just my guess.

  8. POSTED BY zidarich  |  June 03, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

    Cspn55 – agreed! The new colonial on Myrtle by Clinton is beautiful. Nothing was knocked down – that was built on a subdivided property. The builders took care to have it fit in wonderfully with the neighborhood. No issues there!

    Frank – I have some pictures of the house that used to stand across from this one on Park. I’ll try and upload and link to them later!

  9. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  June 03, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

    Looking forward to seeing them!

    As you know, this was the Etherington family home and I’m happy it wasn’t demolished for sentimental reasons. Mr Etherington was also the President of the former Montclair Savings Bank, and old fashion local bank that, under his leadership, reinvested heavily in the community.

    It was a well-appointed, but unpretentious home that was atypical of the new construction of this period for its siting on the lot.

  10. POSTED BY zidarich  |  June 03, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

    cspn55 – forgot to mention – that house on Myrtle is lovely, but what if your neighbor put up the single family home linked above in Nutley between your two Victorians? Zoning doesn’t help that, and that house, major historic issues aside, isn’t helping anyone’s property values. Tragic is the first word that comes to mind.

    And frank – no – I don’t think historic issues had anything to do with the above house’s renovations. The 1950’s is arguably new construction by Montclair’s standards!

  11. POSTED BY zidarich  |  June 03, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

    Frank, here’s the house that used to stand across the street from the above one (though the two never actually coexisted): https://i58.tinypic.com/2els1go.jpg

    Sorry for the crummy scanning job.

    It was built circa 1890 by Timothy G. Sellew and his wife, who moved out from New York City after running a successful furniture company on Fulton Street for many years (which I believe is still in existence). I don’t know anything about the architect, but maybe someone else out there does.

    The Sellew’s played a crucial role in the development of Upper Montclair. In 1890, Montclair’s developed land basically stopped at Chestnut Street, and Upper Montclair was still largely farmland, save for Bellevue Ave, and a few homes on Valley Street and Upper Mountain Ave.

    The plot of land they purchase stretched from Park Ave to the mountain, and besides their own home they built the Presbyterian Church on Inwood Ave, and they built all the victorians you see on Fernwood Ave, Inwood Ave, and Valley Place (Valley Place was basically Upper Montclair’s first rental/condo community – just 1890’s style!).

    They also built a house on Upper Mountain (by Valley Place) at least one other house on Park St (on the corner with Clarewill), and at least one house on Valley Road (near Laurel Place). There may be others that I’m not aware of. I think they also may have donated part of the land they owned to the town for the development of the Upper Montclair downtown on Valley Road, but I’m not 100% certain about that.

    They had no children, and when they had both passed away, the home was knocked down in the 1930’s, Inwood Terrace was carved through the property, and 17 homes were put up in its place. You can see the subdivision and new construction being mapped out here: https://i57.tinypic.com/2q1xojs.jpg

    Although their own house is gone, to my knowledge, every other house they built still stands, so their legacy certainly still lives on in town. What bothers me is that there’s nothing to protect it!

  12. POSTED BY willjames  |  June 03, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

    The future will be more Inwood Terraces and fewer single 7,000 square foot homes on an acre of land. Not by fiat, but by necessity.

  13. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  June 03, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

    Really great overview. Thank you for taking the time. I don’t recall a photo of a house of this scale & architectural quality North of Watchung on Park. It must have had amazing light.

    I assume they must have bought the lots from E. J. Crane & Co. I am familiar with the Western most lots, but pretty sketchy on those below Valley – except for the 4 Duryea business years ago.

    Unfortunately, I don’t believe public policy HP is a going to protect the residential lots of Montclair. The Township will almost certainly approve Mr. Plofker’s request to demolish the historically designated Victorian on Claremont next to the Georgian Inn.

    I think we will have to live with just the old photos such as yours and a smattering throughout town of sacred cows (the HP type). Thanks for sharing!

  14. POSTED BY willjames  |  June 03, 2014 @ 10:05 pm
  15. POSTED BY zidarich  |  June 03, 2014 @ 10:05 pm

    “Unfortunately, I don’t believe public policy HP is a going to protect the residential lots of Montclair. The Township will almost certainly approve Mr. Plofker’s request to demolish the historically designated Victorian on Claremont next to the Georgian Inn.”

    Didn’t they already deny someone else’s request to do this? Why would they then allow his?

    I didn’t even know he has a request in to do that. The man thinks Montclair is his own little Monopoly board and seems to get free reign to do it and destroy as much of its history as he likes.

    I’d like to re ask the question – who exactly is it that the town is being run for?

  16. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  June 03, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

    Well, his Elevation Burger/Pinnacle building turned out better than I thought.
    His Luna Stage/PSE&G building looks as bad as the renderings I saw. The PB minutes on that one are a blast to read. Unfortunately, everyone comes out like the renderings.

    To answer your question, it is being run to service economic growth. It is really that simple.

  17. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  June 03, 2014 @ 11:24 pm

    willjames,
    You need to cutback on your googling or be more discriminating. That Washington Post article was contrived fluff. Did you notice the data range was only 25 years? More importantly, did they mention any city or region? C’mon!

  18. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  June 04, 2014 @ 6:20 am

    “Did you notice the data range was only 25 years? ”

    —um, the charts that accompany the piece quite clearly show the data range as beginning in 1973 and ending in 2013. by my math, that’s 40 years of data. (census data, btw…)

    perhaps that is insufficient for the poster’s purposes as well—he has yet to provide us with his “acceptable” data ranges for studies cited here on baristanet.

  19. POSTED BY willjames  |  June 04, 2014 @ 7:15 am

    The only “contrived fluff” I’m seeing are the sentences in this press-release (er, excuse me–“report”) in which the phrase “environmentally green” is used to describe a 7,000 square foot single-family house.

  20. POSTED BY walleroo  |  June 04, 2014 @ 8:54 am

    Thank God! For a minute I thought this house might be torn down to make way for dwellings that people who aren’t filthy stinking rich can live in.

  21. POSTED BY crankydave  |  June 04, 2014 @ 10:48 am

    WTF has the kind of money for something like this? I’ll bet the ultimate owner plops kids(s) in MKA, and then bitches about high property taxes.

  22. POSTED BY willjames  |  June 07, 2014 @ 7:49 am

    But crankydave, the people who can afford these houses throw *such* better parties than the plebes who can’t! What would Montclair be without them?

  23. POSTED BY frankgg  |  June 07, 2014 @ 8:43 am

    A renovation project like 465 Park street is about as GREEN as you can get for construction in the US suburbs. Teardowns that are effectuated to make room for a contemporary GREEN building arent GREEN iniziatives at all because everything from the old house just winds up in the dump.
    Recycling 50 year old outdated houses is the most environmental and neighborhood friendly methodology that could happen in the US Suburbs and it would be a welcomed economically and environmentally sustainable trend in Baristaville! https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/23802892?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u476&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery19

  24. POSTED BY flipside  |  June 07, 2014 @ 9:19 am

    There is nothing “green” about a 7200 square foot house….unless of course they installed a plug for a Leaf.

  25. POSTED BY lisaetherington  |  July 22, 2014 @ 1:33 pm

    I came across this article when googling my in-laws former address. While I knew the house was undergoing a renovation, I was shocked to see the two interior photos. My husband, Barrie Etherington, was even more shocked. There’s no question the house was in need of a major renovation but, it never occurred to us it would be done with such a modern flair. This house and the one next door, on the corner on Inwood, were products of a teardown in the 40’s by my husband’s grandmother, Ethel Etherington. They were both beautiful, stately old homes. While the outside of both of these grand homes was kept, the insides are completely different and it saddens my husband and I to see them now. While I won’t mention the name of the man who purchased them both, because he’s a kind, gentle and good man, we would’ve loved if he’d stayed in keeping with they style of the house when renovating. It just looks disjointed, outside to in. Barrie and I were thankful they only posted two pictures of the current inside, many more would’ve been too difficult.
    While a house is only brick and mortar, it’s never easy to see all the memories within a beautiful old home renovated away. My husband grew up in this house, birth until college, his heart was heavy looking for a familiar piece of woodwork, window or hallway. It was almost impossible to figure out what room the table was in, if it weren’t for the little bit of terrace in the doors, we never would’ve known.
    We wish to the buyers many years of happiness and peace in their new home. We hope their children will love it as much as my husband and his three sisters did.

    Frank Rubacky: Barrie sends a big hello and said you were almost right about his father’s banking career. 😉

  26. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  July 22, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

    Thanks. My regards to Barrie and family!

    Sorry for mixing up him up with Bernard Martin. Mr Etherington was similarly heavily invested in Montclair during his tenure at Chemical/Horizon Bank. Like the house, different times, different styles. The good news is the house will likely still be there for the next couple of generations.

  27. POSTED BY lisaetherington  |  July 22, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

    I came across this article when googling my in-laws former address. While I knew the house was undergoing a renovation, I was shocked to see the two interior photos. My husband, Barrie Etherington, was even more shocked. There’s no question the house was in need of a major renovation but, it never occurred to us it would be done with such a modern flair. This house and the one next door, on the corner of Inwood, were products of a teardown in the 40’s by my husband’s grandmother, Ethel Etherington. They were both beautiful, stately old homes. While the outside of both of these grand homes was kept, the insides are completely different and it saddens my husband and I to see them now. While I won’t mention the name of the man who purchased them both, because he’s a kind, gentle and good man, we would’ve loved if he’d stayed in keeping with they style of the house when renovating. It just looks disjointed, outside to in. Barrie and I were thankful they only posted two pictures of the current inside, many more would’ve been too difficult.
    While a house is only brick and mortar, it’s never easy to see all the memories within a beautiful old home renovated away. My husband grew up in this house, birth until college, his heart was heavy looking for a familiar piece of woodwork, window or hallway. It was almost impossible to figure out what room the table was in, if it weren’t for the little bit of terrace in the doors, we never would’ve known.
    We wish to the buyers many years of happiness and peace in their new home. We hope their children will love it as much as my husband and his three sisters did.

    Frank Rubacky: Barrie sends a big hello and said you were almost right about his father’s banking career. 😉

  28. POSTED BY lisaetherington  |  July 22, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

    So sorry all, I just refreshed this page and it posted my comment a second time. Again, my apologies.

Featured Comment

Sad. Let's hope that this is not its "Last Tango." One of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in town. Valentino, Garbo, Keaton must have played there.

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