From Montclair to Montechiaro: Discovering Italy in the Local Architecture


From Montclair to Montechiaro: Discovering Italy in the Local Architecture, June 9, 2019, 2-5 pm at the Van Vleck House and Gardens (21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair) RSVP here.

Montclair’s transformation, from a bucolic country retreat known for its clean air and apple orchards into one of the first and finest commuter suburbs of Manhattan, is due to the arrival of the railroad in the 19th century. This allowed local captains of industry, who worked in New York City, the opportunity to live and unwind in the shadow of “First Mountain,” all within an hour’s commute of the city. Locally and nationally known architects constructed houses, commercial buildings, and churches using Italian inspired architectural elements.

Join expert tour guides, as they reveal the multiple layers of Italian connections in the architectural treasures of Montclair, re-baptized Montechiaro for this special occasion.

Beginning with the concept of the American suburban “villa” introduced by A. J. Davis and based on Italian architectural concepts, to the buildings inspired by the theories of Vitruvius and Palladio, the tour contextualizes the development of the township of Montclair. In this context, interestingly, the evolving town offered opportunities to Italian immigrants, who settled in the Fourth Ward, to utilize their skills, learned in Italy, to benefit Montclair with their expertise in the building arts.

The tour encompasses the diverse and beautiful Montclair landscape which includes grand houses as well as the working class Italian neighborhood of the Pine Street historic district.

    • Guided tour of Montclair (by coach)
      Aperitivo al fresco (light refreshments *) with vocal performance by Sandro Naglia
      accompanied at the piano by David Witten (Professor, Cali School of Music, MSU)
  • For information, contact Dr. Fiore at
    For help with tickets and RSVP, contact Jenna Villani at 973-655-7872 or

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