An atypical real estate opportunity presents itself in Alpine, one of the state’s wealthier enclaves, with a collection of lots and structures bundled into one sale.
Totaling 3.19 acres of land at the top of Closter Dock Road, the most notable part of the listing is a Gothic Revival Church, previously known as Alpine Community Church. After a long legal battle, the courts ultimately ruled the property belongs to the United Methodist Church who then listed the property for sale.
Alpine, a town made up primarily of houses, only has two central buildings in its district — this church is one of them. Local residents are enraged, fearing a developer will purchase the site and demolish the church to make way for more profitable development. The real estate listing alludes to this possibility, indicating single-family homes are permitted on 10,000- or 20,000-square-foot lots.
Designed in 1871 by J. Cleveland Cady, also credited with the Metropolitan Opera House and part of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, the church is listed on the national and state registers of historic places. But a landmark status designation doesn’t necessarily mean protection against things like demolition.
A suggestion that’s been floating around, credited to Jennifer Rothschild of the Historic Preservation Committee of the Bergen County Historical Society, is that the town, or residents themselves, should purchase the land and structures and turn it into a community center. The historical significance of the church is important, but it’s location perhaps even more so — it’s the first thing you see when you come into Alpine.
The church, fairly small but built with large pieces of beautiful natural stone, could use some repairs. The interior is designed in a Tudor style on the walls and ceiling with beautifully detailed arches highlighting the vault of the roof; the light color of the walls and high ceiling aid the natural light coming in to truly illuminate the space. Although the details are timeless, overall the space is rather dated and not well maintained.
The property, located at 995 Closter Dock Road, is asking $3,450,000.
Listing: 995 Closter Dock Road [Zillow]