Like all great art, architecture relays secrets of centuries past and offers a window into the culture and history of those who came before us. Renowned for their rich history, Jersey City’s most iconic buildings and the people who dwelled within provide a unique insight into how the city we’ve come to know and love has evolved over the years. Dixon Leasing understands that every historic property contributes to Jersey City’s story. That’s why we make every effort to restore or recreate the architectural elements that make each home unique. Join us as we take a trip through history and look behind the facades of some of Jersey City’s beautiful buildings in an ongoing collaboration with Jersey Digs.
For more than 170 years, Van Vorst Park has been the centerpiece of its namesake historic Jersey City neighborhood, and the homes that face the park are especially sought after. Set at the center of the park’s northern boundary, our Montgomery Street subject property has observed the evolution of the neighborhood for nearly a century and a half under the stewardship of several prominent female owners.
Built in 1870, among a row of 10 uniform row houses, our subject property and its siblings were designed in a simplified Second Empire style with smooth brownstone facades. Each house stands three stories tall with a basement and features an ornate front door surround and grand railings along a high stoop. The entire row is topped by a distinctive, continuous cornice that marries the matching houses together along the block.
This collection of homes was built by Hosea F. Clark and Charles H. Murray of Jersey City, and John Martin Jr. of New York City. Clark is well-known to Jersey City historians for his service on the Jersey City Common Council from 1866 to 1871 and in the New Jersey state legislature. Clark was also involved in numerous real estate developments throughout the Van Vorst Park district including Barrow Street homes we’ve discussed before.
Caroline W. Whiton purchased the Montgomery house in 1871 beginning what would be a string of female owners. Whiton operated the building as a rental property for 20 years. In 1891, after the death of her husband, Phebe M. Griffith purchased the home for $11,000 and resided there. Court documents of the day show that Griffith may have owned several properties around Jersey City. A devoted philanthropist, she gave to the poor throughout her life, and upon her death at the age of 92, she left money to the Home for Aged Women on Bergen Avenue and to the Young Women’s Christian Association on Mercer Street.
In 1919, Griffith’s estate sold the house, and by 1920 it had been divided into three apartments and acquired by Raphael J. and Mollie Frank. In 1939, the Franks gave the home to their daughter F. Idah Frank, who had attended Rutgers University School of Law and passed the New Jersey Bar Exam with high honors in 1937. F. Idah and her husband sold the home in 1972, more than 50 years after her parents had purchased it.
By the time Dixon acquired the Montgomery Street brownstone in 2013, the building had been subdivided into four units and few architectural details remained in the interior, save for the exceptional parlor floor.
Today, guests arrive through grand etched-glass entry doors to take in a beautifully restored curved staircase featuring an eight-sided Italianate newel post. To the left, arched double doors swing open to reveal a bright living room topped with a stepped ceiling and surrounded by handsome framed walls. The room’s characteristic tall and narrow front windows flank a classic pier mirror.
At the opposite end, another archway — this one with pocket doors — leads to what is now an elite chef’s kitchen centered around a large Caesarstone quartz island. Rows of Shaker cabinetry meld perfectly with the parlor level’s historic aesthetic alongside thoroughly modern conveniences, such as dual wine refrigerators, a vented six-burner gas range, and dishwasher. Further on, a separate formal dining room is surrounded by glass doors leading to a private balcony and the rear yard below.
The top floors of the home have been transformed into four stunning bedroom suites. The luxurious master includes two fully outfitted walk-in closets, an en-suite bathroom for two, and another private balcony. Each of the three remaining suites includes large custom closets and en-suite baths, and a washer-dryer on both floors means no carrying laundry up and down stairs.
The lower level of this fine home has been lovingly transformed into a separate English basement flat with a gorgeous mixed-materials kitchen featuring white, black, and natural wood finishes; marble countertops; and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances. Stately built-ins and a decorative fireplace adorn the great room while the adjacent sunroom opens to a private paved yard. Historic touches in the bedroom — gorgeous inlaid hardwood flooring and arched windows with built-in shutters — nod to the home’s historic origins.
Known for historically accurate renovations that preserve the past for Jersey City’s future, the home on Montgomery Street represents another sterling achievement by Dixon Projects team (Dixon Advisory USA’s design-build arm), and is now listed for rent by Dixon Leasing.
On top of having a fabulously renovated home with Van Vorst Park at your doorstep, this property located at 268 Montgomery Street also offers an ideal location. You’re steps away from dining destinations such as Razza and Kitchen Step, and most importantly, commuting is a breeze with access to the Grove Street PATH station, Jersey Ave Light Rail station, and several bus routes. Plus, there’s no fee and one month free on a 12-month lease.
Viewings are available 7 days a week. Make your appointment online today, or call (201) 366-8689 to speak with an agent.
Listing: 268 Montgomery Street, Jersey City
Asking: $10,360 Gross Rent ($9,495 net effective rent with 1 month free on 12-month lease)
Agent/Brokerage: Dixon Leasing
[gmap height=”250px”]268 Montgomery Street Jersey City NJ 07302[/gmap]
268 Montgomery Street, Jersey City