Church Street in Montclair has just been named a Great Place in New Jersey by the American Planning Association-New Jersey Chapter (APA-NJ).
“The people of Montclair are thrilled that APA-NJ has recognized Church Street as a Great Place in New Jersey,” said Mayor Robert Jackson. “The honor is a tribute to hard work by our merchants, landowners, and Business Improvement District, and the residents and visitors who frequent this gem. Montclair is famous for its restaurants, cultural institutions, retail establishments, and sophisticated ambience. Church Street is our epicenter."
APA-NJ President Charles Latini, Jr. said the group chose to honor Church Street because it exhibits the elements of a so-called Great Street.
“Pedestrians in Montclair Center are drawn to its wide sidewalks, comfortable benches, window-shopping opportunities, alfresco dining, and outdoor entertainment," he said.
Luther Flurry, executive director of the Montclair Center Business Improvement District, said Church Street has become a regional destination.
“The hubbub of friends meeting and enjoying and the sounds of street entertainment create an excited buzz, but you can also find a quiet spot to listen to birds or contemplate an architectural detail," he said.
Latini said that, in total, eight special and unique places around New Jersey have been recognized.
“From Jersey City’s Grove Street Plaza, to historic Downtown Frenchtown on the Delaware River and the relatively new Pier Village on the Long Branch beach front, our 2012 Great Places reflect a tremendous amount of history, diversity, and economic vitality," he said. "We hope that they inspire other communities to envision, plan, and create their own great places.”
Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live. They are enjoyable, safe and desirable, places where people want to live, work and visit every day. New Jersey’s great streets, neighborhoods and public spaces are defined by many criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality and community activity. Great Places in New Jersey is just one of the ways that APA-NJ will celebrate Community Planning Month in October (www.njplanning.org). Community Planning Month is designed to recognize and celebrate the many residents, officials, and professionals who contribute to making great communities.
The 2012 Great Places in New Jersey designees, listed below, are not ranked. Additional details about each are available here.
2012 Great Neighborhoods
Downtown Bordentown in Bordentown City, Burlington County Downtown Frenchtown in Frenchtown Borough, Hunterdon County Pier Village in Long Branch City, Monmouth County
2012 Great Streets
Broad Street in Hopewell Borough, Mercer County; Church Street in Montclair City, Essex County
2012 Great Public Spaces
Grove Street Plaza in Jersey City, Hudson County Waverly & Lincoln Places in Madison Borough, Morris County Historic Perth Amboy Waterfront in Perth Amboy City, Middlesex County