The Van Vleck House & Gardens originated as a 12-acre private estate more than 140 years ago when Joseph Van Vleck Sr. and his family moved to Montclair from Brooklyn in 1868. Like many successful businessmen of the era, Joseph Van Vleck Sr. came to the suburbs seeking a refuge from industrial living and brought to Montclair a grand vision of a country estate surrounded by acres of landscaped grounds.
There have been several houses on the grounds over the years; however only the U-shaped Italianate villa, home to Howard Van Vleck and his family, remains. To learn more about the family and the history of the property click here.
In 1993 the heirs of Howard Van Vleck gifted the house and grounds at 21 Van Vleck Street to The Montclair Foundation – a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to support nonprofits. The Foundation created the Van Vleck Board of Management to oversee the property.
Over the last two and a half decades, under the guidance of the Board of Management, the generous support and hard work of countless donors and volunteers have made it possible for the public to enjoy this beautiful, quiet green space in the heart of Montclair.
These private gardens are open to the public, 365 days a year. The house is a center for nonprofit groups and is available to them for meetings, retreats, and fundraisers. Visitors are welcome to enjoy all the garden spaces and are encouraged to join us for classes, concerts, and special events.
The Gardens do not receive any municipal, county or state operating funds. The care and maintenance of the house and grounds is funded through memberships, grants, and the generous support of people who give what they can. Please consider becoming a Friend of Van Vleck to help us care for this most precious gift.