Montclair, New Jersey: The Development of a Suburban Town and Its Architecture

Montclair, New Jersey: The Development of a Suburban Town and Its Architecture

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After the Civil War suburbs increased in the United States as a result of expanding populations, immigration and overcrowded cities. Americans longed for more space and communities free of foreigners. This has been the reigning understanding of the nation's modern suburban development but it does not relate the story in its entirety. Through an in depth study of the growth of late nineteenth-century Montclair, New Jersey, this dissertation will argue the postbellum suburb thrived not as an urban escape route but as an opportunity for the exploration of different housing possibilities. At the height of industrialization and in the aftermath of war, Americans longed to create communities reminiscent of the nation's past, i.e., its villages of eighteenth-century New England. With a firm grasp on Protestant principles and Puritan ideology, and situated on land adjacent to Llewellyn Park, the country's first private suburb, transplanted New Yorkers looked to build in Montclair a community that was well-versed in architectural design but socially conservative. Through an analysis of Montclair's history, archived locally and throughout the state of New Jersey, the suburb's existence as a picturesque enclave with multiple influences become clear. As the home of architects, artists, photographers and suffragists like Frank Edwin Wallis, George Inness, Harry Fenn, Washington Irving Lincoln Adams and Lucy Stone, the suburb attracted a diverse citizenry, yet with a Congregational church led by Amory Howe Bradford, descendant of Puritan William Bradford, Montclair appeared ripe for a qNew Puritanismq movement. Examination of Montclair's history is important because it sheds greater light on the varied interests and impulses of its first suburbanites. Since the postwar era the suburbs have been denounced as the domestic vacuum of the bourgeoisie. The modern American suburb must be viewed alternately, as Roger Silverstone has described, as an emerging architectural space---a space with different concerns than that of the city and worthy of unique consideration. Examination of suburban Montclair reopens the discourse on the history of housing in America and underscores that a more thorough insight into its suburban roots will allow for a better understanding of the housing trends of tomorrow.Where could you learn something about building and its latest techniques if not in school or an apprentice to a trade? ... 4 August 1883; two house designs by architect Jesse Lockwood in a€œNotes About Town, a€ Montclair Times, 7 June 1884; anbsp;...

Title:Montclair, New Jersey: The Development of a Suburban Town and Its Architecture
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008


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