The community’s unique social fabric of people and economic diversity is what mostly defines Montclair’s “sense of place” and this identity is the most important legacy to preserve to “Save Montclair.”
To quote Aldo Rossi, “One can say that the city itself is the collective memory of its people … The city is the locus of the collective memory.”
Montclair’s significance to American history, aside from its valuable architectural development, is that it is a place remembered for diversity and freedom when there wasn’t freedom elsewhere. There were diverse landowners in neighborhoods like Frog Hollow and nearby Crane’s Gap, documented since before the American Revolution. This remarkable history is just part of the social fabric, there is even more. There are those who gifted fortunes to insure education and good quality of life for all. This rare and diverse social fabric is emblematic to Montclair’s longtime community, its identity and its memory.
Montclair’s economic diversity is often handicapped by today’s rough economic climate as well as pressures from the real estate market. This pressure makes it difficult for longtime Montclair residents to “age in place” or to allow for the next generation to remain in town.
Permanent and affordable housing is a means to vital sustainability for residents of our community and for newcomers, to insure Montclair’s characteristic social diversity.