Montclair loses grand estate

The former home of Montclair African-American business and athletic leader Aubrey Lewis, built in 1907 by renowned Montclair Arts and Crafts architect Dudley Van Antwerp, has been razed, making way for a controversial development in the South End of Montclair.

The home was a grand estate with surrounding gardens, featured in the Montclair Times Supplement of 1922 as one of the town’s architectural jewels.  Preservationists sought to have it designated a landmark, but the forces of “progress” deemed otherwise. Setting another precedent as Montclair loses its sense of history, this loss hits deep in the community and should be a lesson to all areas in danger of “tear downs.”

Majda Kallab Whitaker


The author is a Montclair architectural and design historian.


The Mikie Sherrill school ban

I was amazed to read that Mikie Sherrill’s planned talk at the high school was called off because of a complaint from the Republican Club’s President Michael Byrne objecting to Ms. Sherrill’s stance on background checks and assault weapons bans. He objects to her saying there is a “gun violence crisis.” If he is not aware of the crisis what planet is he living on? Tell that to parents who have lost children and family in the 15 prior multiple school murders this year prior to today in Santa Fe, Texas.

Adding to my amazement are the criteria used to ban the speaker. If you shelter students from listening to anyone deemed controversial, although it’s hard to see in this instance, then you limit students’ opportunity to hear opposite views on current events. Rather than ban Ms. Sherrill why not invite the Republican Club or anyone else who objects to address the students? As far as someone gaining advantage by having a captive audience over whom would Ms. Sherrill gain an advantage addressing high school students?

Harris Cohen


Editor’s note: Montclair schools officials told Montclair Local that the talk was canceled prior to the Republican Club reaching out.