Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Montclair "Slave House" May Be Moved

When does a house stop being a home?
Does an historical landmark lose some of its relevance when it's moved to another location?
What if the choice is "move it or lose it"?
Philip Read discusses both sides of the issue in today's Star Ledger:

Tomorrow night, John Weisel, is to appear before Montclair's Historic Preservation Commission to give a preview of the plans to relocate the slave house sometime in 2008.

At the same time, Montclair's governing body has designated homes for local landmark status and earmarked some 200 properties with more restrictive zoning to take the financial incentive out of tearing down historic properties. Both of those actions were taken with a circa 1900 Dutch Colonial(pictured) -- next door to the slave house -- that was threatened with demolition.

Frank Godlewski, an architect who has spoken up on landmark issues, said the slave house should stay in what was once an African- American enclave. "That's the only building that we have left that's genuine on the revolutionary-period road," he said.

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