The home’s open floor
plan (left) allows for
sunlight. A bank of
cabinets keeps clutter
at bay. Above, from
top: The exterior,
is similar in scale to
its neighbors; pocket
doors separate the
master bedroom and
As architect Jeff Jordan and his wife, Sally Li- brera, expanded their brood, they found them- selves bursting at the seams. With three young boys, the couple decided it was time to leave
their Jersey City row house for a place with more space,
both inside and out. While they relished Jersey City’s
restaurants and shops, and loved their commute—Jeff’s
office is in Jersey City; Sally travels daily to Manhattan—
they wanted a backyard for their boys, Calvin, Graham and
Henry, now 8, 6 and 4. When they discovered an Internet
listing for a rare empty lot on a tree-lined street in Rutherford, they pounced.
“We didn’t know anything about Rutherford,” says Jeff.
“But, we saw the land and immediately fell in love with the
idea of it.” Located just five blocks from the train station,
the lot is also walking distance to schools, restaurants and
stores, which would allow the Jordans
the nearly car-free lifestyle they had
become accustomed to in Jersey City.
And, sized at 50 by 100 feet, it was
significantly more land than they had.
The only thing missing was a house,
which Jeff set out to design.
“Our priorities were having a little
more space inside the house and a
lot more space outside,” says Jordan.
The vacant lot, across the street from
a church and diagonally opposite the
high school, was in a neighborhood
with many traditional homes that are
great examples of the area’s 19th-cen-
tury architecture. But Jordan decided