practice, there were multiple pours, explains Soudry.
Once the concrete dried, the mold was removed,
and voila—in less than t wo weeks, there was a
complete house. Walls could be pre-tinted, theoretically eliminating the need to ever repaint. Arched
doorways and built-in bookshelves were included in
the concrete pour.
But there were issues—chiefly, the bulky mold.
It consisted of more than 2,000 parts and weighed
some half a million pounds . What’s more, few
builders could afford the $175,000 price tag for
the reusable mold. To make matters worse, Edison
quickly discovered that few people wanted to live in
a house that was perceived as cheap and mass-pro-
duced. The idea was a colossal flop. But, one man’s
flop is another family’s treasure. Enter the Soudry/
DESPITE LOVING THEIR Brooklyn lifestyle, Soudry
and Scheier were anxious to have more living space
for their two girls, Lia, 8, and Alma, 5. They discovered Montclair, a town which, with virtually everything within walking distance, reminded them of
their Prospect Heights neighborhood. When they
stumbled across 303 North Mountain Avenue, they
knew it was the right price and the right location.
“No one wanted to buy a concrete house,” says
Soudry. “It’s artful and historic, but not quite practical.” But Soudry felt she had discovered something.
“It’s in a great neighborhood,” she says. “I knew I
could make it work for us.” Fortunately Scheier, a
public defender with the Legal Aid Society, was on
board for the challenge.
The couple purchased the house in June 2014.
The four-bedroom, one-bath abode needed reno-
vation, but was still sound. “The structure was in
perfect condition,” says Soudry. “The house works
as a unit.”
To start, the couple stripped the interior to its
bare bones, removing layers of tile and fake wood
trim. “It was a big undertaking to do it without
damaging the concrete,” Soudry says. “You don’t
want to chip away at the concrete. It requires more
The couple added a second bath in what had
the rooms sparsely
to maintain the
integrity of the concrete, she says. New
windows are energy
the ceiling in the
kitchen to install
task lighting and
glued new white-oak wood planks
directly onto the