Historic Preservation Award Winners Announced

The Montclair Township Historic Preservation Commission is pleased to announce the 2023 Recipients of the Historic Preservation Awards Program.

Awardees will be recognized at the Commission’s upcoming meeting to be held on Thursday May 11, 2023. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers on the first floor of the Municipal Building (205 Claremont Avenue).

The Commission is pleased to announce the following award recipients:

Bricks & Mortar Preservation Award

Commercial: 17 Watchung Plaza
Owner: Bravitas Group, Inc.
Architect: Paul Sionas Architecture, P.C.
Contractor: Jack Finn & Co.
Nominator Kathleen M Bennett:

The Bravitas Group and Sionas Architects have successfully restored and adapted the Montclair National Bank, located at 17 Watchung Plaza. Designed in 1924 by John J. Jackson of Passaic, it was designed in the Colonial Revival style. The Bravitas/Sionas team converted the former bank into a single tenant building now occupied by Montclair Speech Therapy and MST Skills. This is an outstanding example of adaptive reuse as the design team preserved the original facade and successfully replicated original details.

The existing 1st and 2nd floor windows and infill were removed and replaced with aluminum windows similar in design to the original window configuration. The replacement aluminum and glass entry doors were replaced with new aluminum and glass doors in a style similar to the 1924 original. The original sign bank, which had been obscured has been replaced by letters proudly proclaiming “The National”. Additional improvements in the interior, the parking and accessibility aspects have been addressed and designed to comply to current requirements. The building is an asset to the Watchung Plaza Historic District.