Now’s the chance to own a true piece of Montclair real estate history — 140 – 142 Union Street. And it can be yours when it hits the market on April 6 for $1,299,000 by Nick Baldwin & Associates at Keller Williams NJ Metro Group.
One of the most beloved properties in town, it truly showcases the period in which it was built – 1740 by Azariah Crane, son of the first Montclair settler. There are two substantial homes that reside on nearly an acre, with old growth trees and perennials abounding — plus private outdoor living space for each. The original house in front, with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and gorgeous original details, has been featured in numerous articles. The charming back house with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths can be used as a rental income property, or you can enjoy it all to yourself.
Inside the beautiful center-hall main house is a gracious 30 ft. long living room with 10 ft. ceilings, many large windows and French doors that open onto a gabled wrap-around porch. The porch is also accessible from the kitchen and spacious dining room through more French doors, 7 pair in all. The front house has the added benefit of a ground floor space with its own kitchen and separate entrance – that can be put to multiple uses. The moment you set foot on this land you feel like you’ve been transported to your own farmhouse. This property cannot be missed by anyone who truly appreciates character combined with modern amenities. But the coolest thing? The driveway used to be Orange Rd.
Our Montclair historian Frank Gerard Godlewski shares more of the history of this 1740 gem:
As seen on the 1865 map above, the 140 – 142 Union Street house belonged to Abiathar Harrison. The Eleazer Crane’s property was across the street. On this map, we see that in 1865 Harrison Avenue, whose name was given to the road was not yet cut through.
The house was probably an original farmhouse, reappointed by Montclair’s first architect, A J Davis who was a cousin of the Crane family. He was also known as the father of American Gothic Architecture, hence the Geo Gothic gingerbread on the porch. The Israel Crane House has similar neo Gothic fret-work possibly by Davis. In the 1850 Pattern Book for American Country Houses, Davis did a design for a house that is similar to his concept for the restyling of 140 – 142 Union Street, that he calls a “Picturesque Swiss Cottage.”