Historic home in New Jersey available for free, if you can move it

MONTCLAIR, New Jersey (WABC) -- If you're in the market for a new house, there's a historic home in New Jersey that some just can't bear to tear down. So you can have it - if you can move it.

Tom Lapenter is the project boss for Redeemer Church, which owns the 109-year-old house at 23 North Willow Street in Montclair.

He's overseeing construction of the church's new building, which does away with their need to keep the house.

So the house is available, provided you can take it away.

"You're gonna need traffic control with the police," said Lapenter. "You're gonna need utilities involved, there are lines in the way. It's not a small task."

And not a small cost.

"I would think initially you'd need about $100,000 and then depending how far you go it's just going to go up from there," said Lapenter.

It's in a town quite particular about preservation and history.

"When a structure has existed for over 100 years, particularly if it has architectural merit, it really needs to be thought about," said David Greenbaum of the Montclair Preservation Commission.

He and others are mounting a huge effort to save the old Lackawanna train station just up the street and around the corner. He sees these historical structures as the lifeblood of the community.

"I think a lot of people are taking the time to reflect upon what's important going forward as to the quality of life and the streetscape," said Greenbaum.

He says the preservation commission is trying to draft a new demolition ordinance so that the town can have more say on what happens to historic sites there.
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