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Montclair, New Jersey
Township
Township of Montclair
Panoramic view of Montclair, New Jersey
Panoramic view of Montclair, New Jersey
Official seal of Montclair, New Jersey
Seal
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Montclair, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Montclair, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Essex
Incorporated April 15, 1868 (as township)
Reincorporated February 24, 1894 (as town)
Area
 • Total 6.315 sq mi (16.357 km2)
 • Land 6.308 sq mi (16.339 km2)
 • Water 0.007 sq mi (0.018 km2)  0.11%
Area rank 250th of 566 in state
6th of 22 in county
Elevation 299 ft (91 m)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 37,669
 • Estimate (2015) 38,202
 • Rank 60th of 566 in state
6th of 22 in county
 • Density 5,971.2/sq mi (2,305.5/km2)
 • Density rank 85th of 566 in state
10th of 22 in county"
Demonym(s) Montclarian, Montclairite
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07042, 07043
Area code(s) 973
FIPS code 3401347500
GNIS feature ID 1729720
Website www.montclairnjusa.org

Montclair (/mɒntˈklɛər/ or /mɒŋˈklɛər/) is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 37,669, reflecting a decline of 1,308 (-3.4%) from the 38,977 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,248 (+3.3%) from the 37,729 counted in the 1990 Census. As of 2010, it was the 60th-most-populous municipality in New Jersey.

Montclair was first formed as a township on April 15, 1868, from portions of Bloomfield Township, so that a second railroad could be built to Montclair. After a referendum held on February 21, 1894, Montclair was reincorporated as a town, effective February 24, 1894. It derives its name from the French mont clair, meaning "clear mountain" or "bright mountain."

In 1980, after multiple protests filed by Montclair officials regarding the inequities built into the federal revenue sharing system, Montclair passed a referendum changing its name to the "Township of Montclair," becoming the third of more than a dozen Essex County municipalities to reclassify themselves as townships to take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies that allocated townships a greater share of government aid to municipalities on a per capita basis.

Geography

EagleRock 002
Skyline of New York City from Montclair at the start of the Watchung Mountains
Montclair old road map
A mural of the road map of Montclair from 1857, when it was known as West Bloomfield.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 6.315 square miles (16.357 km2), including 6.308 square miles (16.339 km2) of land and 0.007 square mile (0.018 km2) of water (0.11%).

Montclair is on the east side of the First Mountain of the Watchung Mountains. Some higher locations in the township provide excellent views of the surrounding area and of the New York City skyline about 12 miles (19 km) away.

Named localities in the township include Frog Hollow, Montclair Heights, South End, Upper Montclair and Watchung Plaza.

Montclair citizens use two main ZIP codes. The central and southern parts of the township are designated 07042. Upper Montclair lies north of Watchung Avenue and has a separate ZIP code, 07043. Because the ZIP codes do not exactly match municipal boundaries, a few homes near the borders with neighboring towns fall into the ZIP codes for those communities. A few homes in some adjoining municipalities use one of the two ZIP codes assigned to Montclair, as does HackensackUMC Mountainside (07042, formerly known as Mountainside Hospital), whose campus straddles the border with Glen Ridge. Small areas in the southeast of the township fall into the Glen Ridge ZIP code 07028.

Several streams flow eastward through Montclair: Toney's Brook in the center, Nishuane Brook in the southeast, the Wigwam Brook in the southwest, Pearl Brook in the northwest, and Yantacaw Brook in the northeast - all in the Passaic River watershed. Yantacaw and Toney's brooks are dammed in parks to create ponds. Wigwam, Nishuane, and Toney's brooks flow into the Second River, and the others flow into the Third River. Montclair lies just north of the northernmost extent of the Rahway River watershed.

The southern border of Montclair is a straight line between Eagle Rock, on the ridge of the First Watchung Mountain, and the point where Orange Road crosses Nishuane Brook. The eastern border is roughly a straight line between that point and a point just southwest of where Broad Street crosses the Third River. The western border runs roughly along the ridge of the First Watchung Mountain between Eagle Rock and the Essex County/Passaic County border. The northern border is the border between those two counties.

Climate

Montclair has a temperate climate, with warm-to-hot, humid summers and cool to cold winters, as is characteristic of the Köppen climate classification humid continental climate. January tends to be the coldest month, with average high temperatures in the upper 30s Fahrenheit and lows averaging 21. July, the warmest month, features high temperatures in the mid-80s and lows in the 70s, with an average high of 86 degrees. From April to June and from September to early November, Montclair experiences temperatures from the lower 60s to the lower 70s.

Montclair gets approximately 50 inches (1,270 mm) of rain per year, above the United States average of 39 inches (990 mm) (weather.com, weatherdb.com). Snowfall is common from December to early March, and totals about 30 inches (760 mm) annually. The number of days each year in Montclair with any measurable precipitation is 90; the area has an average of 202 sunny days.

Montclair is one or two degrees warmer than the neighboring towns of Verona and Cedar Grove because of the mountain between them, which sometimes blocks winds and clouds, including warmer air from the ocean to the east.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 2,853
1880 5,147 80.4%
1890 8,636 67.8%
1900 13,962 61.7%
1910 21,550 54.3%
1920 28,810 33.7%
1930 42,017 45.8%
1940 39,807 −5.3%
1950 43,927 10.3%
1960 43,129 −1.8%
1970 44,043 2.1%
1980 38,321 −13.0%
1990 37,729 −1.5%
2000 38,977 3.3%
2010 37,669 −3.4%
Est. 2015 38,202 −2.0%
Population sources: 1870-1920
1870-1910 1870 1880-1890
1890-1910 1900-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

Montclair has long highlighted its diversity, a feature that has attracted many to the community. The African American population has been stable at around 30% for decades, although it fell from 32% in 2000 to 27% in 2010 (U.S. Census).

As of 2012, 32.6% of the population were Catholic, 8.4% were Jewish and 2.4% were Muslim, with a small percentage of other denominations. Proportionally, Montclair has more Muslims, Jews, and Catholics than the national average.

Montclair has attracted many who work for major media organizations in New York City, including The New York Times and Newsweek. A March 11, 2007, posting in the blog Gawker.com listed some of those who work in the media and live in Montclair. In it also live many commuters to New York City and the Metro Area.

2015 Census

According to the 2015 American Community Survey the census showed Montclair had a total population of 38,021. There was a median age of 40.6 years old with 20.6% of the population being under 18, 62% being between 18 and 64, and 13% being 65 and over. The town population was 54% female and 46% male. The racial percentages were 59% White, 23% Black, 9% Hispanic, 4% Asian, 4% two or more races, and 1% other.

The income per capita was $62,832 and the median household income was $99,105. The income split was 27% of the population under $50k, 24% between $50k and $100k, 25% between $100k and $200k, and 24% over $200k. With poverty, 6.7% of the population was below the poverty line. In terms of households, there were 14,517 total households and 2.6 households per person.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 37,669 people, 15,089 households, and 9,446 families residing in the township. The population density was 5,971.2 per square mile (2,305.5/km2). There were 15,911 housing units at an average density of 2,522.2 per square mile (973.8/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 62.16% (23,416) White, 27.16% (10,230) Black or African American, 0.16% (59) Native American, 3.81% (1,434) Asian, 0.02% (9) Pacific Islander, 2.19% (826) from other races, and 4.50% (1,695) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.46% (2,810) of the population.

There were 15,089 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the township, the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 30.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.9 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 82.2 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $95,696 (with a margin of error of +/- $5,396) and the median family income was $126,983 (+/- $8,950). Males had a median income of $83,589 (+/- $5,955) versus $66,063 (+/- $3,616) for females. The per capita income for the township was $53,572 (+/- $2,671). About 4.6% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census, 38,977 people, 15,020 households, and 9,687 families resided in the township. The population density was 6,184 people per square mile (2,389/km2). There were 15,531 housing units at an average density of 2,464 per square mile (951.8/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 59.77% White, 32.06% African American, 3.15% Asian, 0.19% Native American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.77% from other races, and 3.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.12% of the population.

Of the 15,020 households in Montclair, 34.3% included children under the age of 18, 47.2% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. Individuals living alone accounted for 29.3% of all households, and in 8.6% of households, that individual was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.16.

Like most stable, mature communities, Montclair had many people in each age group, with 25.6% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 86.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.7 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $74,894, and the median income for a family was $96,252. Males had a median income of $64,151 versus $43,520 for females. The per capita income for the township was $44,870. About 3.9% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Montclair hosts many art institutions and theaters, and despite its relatively small size, has many art venues. It has its own art museum, the Montclair Art Museum, and several small galleries.

Montclair also hosts two theaters that showcase movies and films. Both were originally live theaters, but are now operated by Clearview Cinemas. While the Bellevue Cinema in Upper Montclair mostly shows mainstream Hollywood films, the Clairidge Cinema on Bloomfield Avenue shows different types of movies from documentaries to small scale indie films. The township hosted its first annual film festival in 2012 to provide a platform for filmmakers from New Jersey, the US and the world.

Live theaters include The Montclair Operetta Company, the Wellmont Theatre, Montclair State University's Kasser Theater, Montclair State University's theater in Life Hall, and the Studio Playhouse. On Bloomfield Avenue there is a public stage used for concerts and other events. Dotted around Montclair there are also many art galleries, though most are centered in the Bloomfield Avenue Downtown Area. Concerts are held at the Wellmont Theatre and at several churches and auditoriums sponsored by Outpost in the Burbs, a community-based organization. In 2017, The Montclair Orchestra was formed as a semi-professional orchestra.

Montclair was the setting for some of the stories in the HBO television series The Sopranos, and many Montclair streets, locations and businesses were featured in the show, such as Bloomfield Avenue.

Parks and recreation

AndersonParkMontclair NJ
Anderson Park
Edgemont Park
Edgemont Memorial Park

Montclair is home to many parks and nature reserves.

Montclair's parks include Edgemont Memorial Park, Essex Park, Glenfield Park, Nishuane Park, Erie Park, Tuers Park, Rand Park, Graz Park, Canterbury Park, Watchung Park, Eagle Rock Reservation, Brookdale Park, Anderson Park, Yantacaw Brook Park, the Bonsal Nature Reserve, Mountainside Park, the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, and the Mills Reservation. The parks include many sports fields, and additional parks are school-owned, such as the Essex Park fields or Montclair State University's Sprague Field. In total Montclair has 153.9 acres (0.623 km2) of township park land spread around 18 parks and 123.8 acres (0.501 km2) of county park land consisting of five parks.

The township has 18 public tennis courts, four skating rinks (two of which are indoor), and three public swimming pools: the Mountainside pool, the Nishuane pool, and the Essex pool.

In 2007, township residents advocated for construction of a public skatepark. Community members revitalized the effort in 2010 and lobbied the Parks and Recreation Committee for support. The township council passed a resolution expressing approval of the project, but allocated no funds for it.

Transportation

Montclair is considered a commuter suburb of New York City. NJ Transit and DeCamp Bus Lines are the providers of public transportation. The average Montclair commute is 38 minutes each way. Twenty-four percent of commuters take mass transit, while 59% drive alone. Twelve times more Montclair commuters take mass transit than the national average.

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 100.62 miles (161.93 km) of roadways, of which 86.68 miles (139.50 km) were maintained by the municipality and 13.94 miles (22.43 km) by Essex County.

Major roads in the township include CR 506 (Bloomfield Avenue).

There is a taxi stand off of Bloomfield Avenue in eastern Montclair, in front of Lackawanna Plaza, formerly the Montclair train station.

Bus

NJ Transit buses 11, 28, 29, 34, 97, 191 and 705 run through Montclair, most going along the main street, Bloomfield Avenue. The NJ transit bus routes are:

  • #11 from Downtown Newark through Verona, Cedar Grove, and Little Falls to Willowbrook Mall in Wayne. The only Montclair street it goes along is Bloomfield Avenue.
  • #28 follows the route of #29 on Bloomfield Avenue until halfway through Montclair, where it goes north along Park Street, Watchung Avenue, and Valley Road to Montclair State University, and to Willowbrook Mall on Weekends
  • #29 between West Caldwell and Newark, passing through Caldwell, Verona, Montclair, Glen Ridge, and Bloomfield on Bloomfield Avenue. It goes to Parsippany at rush hour. The only Montclair street it goes along is Bloomfield Avenue.
  • #34 to Newark through East Orange and Orange on some trips, otherwise it goes to Bloomfield along Orange Road, Elm Street, and Bloomfield Avenue. It goes farther to the Montclair High School during that school's start and end times.
  • #97 goes from the Montclair Center south along Orange and Harrison Roads through the Oranges.
  • #191 goes from Willowbrook Mall through Little Falls to Montclair State University, then to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.
  • #705 goes from Passaic along Alexander Avenue, Grove Street (for one block), Mt. Hebron Road and through Montclair State University to Willowbrook Mall.

All of these routes except #97, #191, and #705 were trolley lines originally, operated by the Public Service Railway. A trolley garage existed on Bloomfield Avenue. In the 1930s and 1950s the trolleys were destroyed and replaced with buses.

DeCamp Bus Lines routes 33 and 66 run through Montclair to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, carrying primarily commuters.

  • #33 goes along Bloomfield Avenue, with some buses going onto Grove Street
  • #66 goes along Orange Road, Park Street, Valley Road, and Mt. Hebron Road

Montclair State University has shuttle buses going around its campus.

The township of Montclair operates a jitney in the evening from the Bay Street train station to the southern end of Montclair.

Rail

Lackawanna
The former Lackawanna Railroad terminal, photographed when it housed a Hollywood Video

Running through Montclair is the Montclair-Boonton Line, serving New York Penn Station via Hoboken Terminal to the east, and Hackettstown to the west. Seven NJ Transit Rail stations serve Montclair: Bay Street, Walnut Street, Watchung Avenue, Upper Montclair, Mountain Avenue, and Montclair Heights in Montclair, and Montclair State University Station in the Great Notch area of Little Falls, New Jersey. Of these seven stations, only Bay Street station has weekend train service.

Montclair has a long history of railroads. The first railroad to Montclair was built in 1856 by the Newark and Bloomfield Railroad. It terminated at a station in Downtown Montclair. First the Morris and Essex Railroad, then the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad leased the line.

In 1868, the Montclair Railway built another line through Montclair, which caused disputes leading to Montclair's separation from Bloomfield. Shortly afterward it was taken over by the New York and Greenwood Lake Railway, a subsidiary of the Erie Railroad. A third railroad to Morristown was planned in 1860 and construction began, but the Panic of 1873 ended the project. In 1912 the Lackawanna Railroad built a large terminal at the end of their line. The Erie and Lackawanna Railroads later merged, forming the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad, which operated both lines for many decades. They were next operated by Conrail for approximately one year, after which NJ Transit took over passenger operations and Conrail continued freight operations. Meanwhile, the 1912 terminal was closed in 1981 and converted into shops. This station was replaced by the Bay Street station. In 2002, the two railway lines were connected with the construction of the Montclair Connection.

Air

Montclair is 13 miles (21 km) from Newark Liberty International Airport, 42 miles (68 km) from JFK Airport and 31 miles (50 km) from LaGuardia Airport. The Garden State Parkway to the east, U.S. Route 46 and New Jersey Route 3 to the north, and New Jersey Route 23 to the west are slightly past the town's borders. The main road through Montclair is Bloomfield Avenue.

Sister cities

Montclair has four sister cities, as listed by Sister Cities International:

Points of interest

VanVleckHouse
Van Vleck House and Gardens
  • Montclair Art Museum
  • Howard Van Vleck Arboretum
  • Presby Memorial Iris Gardens
  • Van Vleck House and Gardens
  • Crane House and Museum
  • The Montclair Historical Society, which consists of:
    • Nathaniel Crane House
    • Clark House
    • Evergreens (House)
  • Yogi Berra Stadium and the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center
  • Parks and dining in Upper Montclair
  • Shopping on Bloomfield Avenue and on Church Street

Historic sites

The Anchorage, Montclair, New Jersey
The Anchorage
Monclair NJ Central Presby PHS746
Central Presbyterian Church
83 Watchung Avenue Montclair NJ-SWM-TLW- 2012-09-23
The House that Lives
Charles S Schultz House, Montclair, New Jersey
Charles S. Shultz House

Montclair is home to the following locations on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • The Anchorage - 155 Wildwood Avenue (added 1988)
  • Anderson Park - SE corner of Bellevue and North Mountain Avenue (added 2009)
  • Joseph Bardsley House - 345 Park Street (added 1988)
  • Bradner`s Pharmacy - 33 Watchung Plaza (added 1988)
  • Carnegie Library - Church Street at Valley Road (added 1988)
  • Casa Deldra - 35 Afterglow Way (added 1988)
  • Central Presbyterian Church - 46 Park Street (added 1986)
  • J. M. Chapman House - 10 Rockledge (added 1988)
  • Cliffside Hose Company No. 4 - 588 Valley Road (added 1988)
  • Congregational Church - 42 S. Fullerton Avenue (added 1988)
  • Israel Crane House - 110 Orange Road(added 1973)
  • Eastward - 50 Lloyd Road (added 1988)
  • Egbert Farm - 128 N. Mountain Avenue (added 1988)
  • Henry Fenn House - 208 N. Mountain Avenue (added 1988)
  • First Methodist Episcopal Church - 24 N. Fullerton Avenue (added 1988)
  • Free Public Library, Upper Montclair Branch - 185 Bellevue Avenue (added 1988)
  • Frank Goodwillie House - 17 Wayside Place (added 1988)
  • Haskell's Bloomfield Villa - 84 Llewellyn Road (added 1988)
  • House at 147 Park Street - 147 Park Street (added 1988)
  • The House that Lives - 83 Watchung Avenue (added 1988)
  • Marlboro Park Historic District - Roughly along Fairfield Street, Waterbury Road, Montclair Avenue, and Watchung Avenue between N. Fullerton and Grove Streets (added 1988)
  • Marsellis House - 190 Cooper Avenue (added 1988)
  • Miller Street Historic District - Miller and Fulton Streets between Elmwood Avenue, Elm and New Streets (added 1988)
  • George A. Miller House - 275 Claremont Avenue (added 1988)
  • Montclair Art Museum - 3 S. Mountain Avenue (added 1986)
  • Montclair Railroad Station - Lackawanna Plaza (added 1973)
  • Mountain Avenue station - 451 Upper Mountain Avenue (added 1984)
  • Mountain District - Roughly bounded by Highland, Bradford, Upper Mountain and Claremont Avenue (added 1988)
  • Mulford House - 207 Union Street (added 1988)
  • Pine Street Historic District - Roughly bounded by Glenridge Avenue, the NJ Transit Boonton Line, Pine and Baldwin Streets (added 2000)
  • Post Office Building, Upper Montclair - 242-244 Bellevue Avenue (added 1988)
  • Presby Memorial Iris Gardens Horticultural Center - 474 Upper Mountain Avenue (added 1980)
  • M. F. Reading House - 87 Midland Avenue (added 1988)
  • Red Gables - 99 S. Fullerton Avenue (added 1988)
  • Charles S. Shultz House - 30 N. Mountain Avenue (added 1979)
  • S. C. Smith House - 40 Northview Avenue (added 1988)
  • St. Luke's Church - 69 S. Fullerton Avenue (added 1988)
  • Stone Eagles - 60 Undercliff Road (added 1988)
  • Upper Montclair station - 275 Bellevue Avenue (added 1984)
  • Van Reyper-Bond House - 848 Valley Road (added 1979)
  • Von Schmid House - 580 Park Street (added 1988)
  • Watchung Avenue station - Park Street (added 1984)
  • Allyn Wight House - 75 Gates Avenue (added 1988)

In popular culture

In the 1948 biographical novel Cheaper by the Dozen, the principal characters Frank Bunker Gilbreth Sr. and Lillian Moller Gilbreth live in Montclair, as the authors did in real life.

Images for kids


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