Overview

Dubbed the “Upper West Side” of New Jersey, Montclair is a diverse community of 38,000 with well-known liberal leanings. It boasts a vibrant downtown, with an eclectic palate of restaurants, funky shops, galleries, the Montclair Art Museum and mix of smaller theaters offering indie film and live performances. With more than 18,000 students, Montclair State University is the second largest university in New Jersey. Montclair has four distinct shopping districts and seven train stations (more than any other municipality in the state).

Housing stock in Montclair ranges from Victorians and Craftsman colonials to stately brick Georgians, sprawling ranches and hillside contemporaries, many with stunning views of NYC. Some of the priciest homes are located at two opposite ends of Montclair — Upper Montclair and The Estate Section. There is also a wide range of smaller, more modest homes, condominiums and apartments. Because Montclair was built as a “railroad suburb”, and not designed around the automobile, most houses are close to commercial areas.

History

Montclair was first formed as a township in the 1860’s, from portions of Bloomfield Township, so that a railroad could be built to Montclair. The railroad was the most decisive event for the emergence of Montclair. In 1856, the Newark and Bloomfield Railroad Company inaugurated regular service to West Bloomfield (now Montclair). By changing trains at Newark and taking a ferry from Hoboken, people could travel to New York in an hour and twenty minutes. Attracted to the country setting with its panoramic views, people in the cities began riding the train to West Bloomfield, some for Sunday excursions, others for vacations, and still others seeking to make their home here. By the turn of the century, West Bloomfield was becoming a commuter town with its own marked identity and influential residents persuaded the post office to adopt the name Montclair.

Schools

Montclair is known for its pioneering magnet school system. Students attend elementary and middle schools chosen not by location, but from magnet themes.

There are seven elementary magnet schools – Bradford (University Magnet), Bullock (Environmental Science), Edgemont (Montessori), Hillside (Gifted and Talented), Nishuane (Gifted and Talented), Northeast (Global Studies) and Watchung (Science and Technology).

Three middle schools serve as magnets for grades 6-8 – Glenfield (Visual and Performing Arts), Mount Hebron (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and Renaissance (Liberal Arts). All 2,000 public school students attend Montclair High School for grades 9-12.

Montclair is also home to a host of private and parochial schools, including: Montclair Kimberley Academy, Lacordaire Academy, and Immaculate Conception High School.

The Commute

Running through Montclair is the Montclair-Boonton Line, which goes between New York City / Hoboken and Hackettstown. There are seven railway stations serving 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 neighboring Little Falls.

Montclair is also served by DeCamp Bus Lines, which has multiple routes that run the length of town into New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Municipal Link

Municipal Website