Maoli Cites High Taxes and Zoning Restrictions as Reasons for Potential Demolition

(FAR HILLS, NJ) The Abbey in Morristown, New Jersey has been getting a great deal of media attention these days. As the host of this year’s Mansions in May fundraiser for the Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center, Alnwick Hall’s former grandeur has been recaptured by top area designers. And, the new and lavishly styled interiors and gardens have been featured in the news throughout the state this month. The event raised several millions of dollars for Morristown Hospital.

But, asks Abbey owner Tom Maoli, “What do I do with this incredible iconic mansion now that this fundraiser is over? I am hoping the town will work with me to allow me to develop the property into a financially viable project, but if not, the sad reality is that the Abbey may have to be dismantled off for architectural salvage then torn down.”

Maoli adds, “It is no longer affordable to have the building sitting there paying the exorbitant taxes and costs to maintain the property.”

Maoli notes that at this point his plans for a townhouse complex have being reviewed by the Morris township zoning commission but does not yet have a green light from them. He does, however, have the paperwork sitting on the corner of his desk for a permit to demolish the Abbey and construct something else.

Maoli has delayed a decision on demolition because of the Abbey had hosted the Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center’s 18th Mansion in May Designer Show House and Gardens. Area designers and landscapers brought the mansion back to its opulent, turn of the 20th Century glory. “This fundraiser was something very important to me and the community,” says Maoli. “The Morristown Medical Center has been a provider of superior health care to residents of Morris County for more than 100 years, but now that the event is over, I’m going to have to make some serious decisions about the Abbey’s future.”

In a recent interview, Maoli stated other alternatives have been presented to him by potential renters, such as a religious group, which proposed a mosque with a day school, something for which the property is zoned and would eliminate Maoli’s need to pay taxes on the property, since houses of worship are real-estate tax exempt. But Maoli feels this is not the best use for such an important iconic monument of grandeur in Morris County, a place he calls home. “It’s amazing, everywhere I go in the USA, from Palm Beach, the Hamptons, Boston to Beverly Hills, you tell someone you’re from New Jersey and they ask ‘where?’ You reply Morristown as a point of reference and somewhere in the conversation the Abbey comes up and they all know it.” But Maoli ended the interview by leaving the door open, stating, “Let’s see what happens before I make any decisions.”

Built in 1904, Alnwick Hall hasn’t been a residential building for nearly 100 years since the death of Edward and Rosaline Meany, the original owners of the Abbey. In the subsequent years, the Abbey has served as a Lutheran church, a bank and, most recently, an office building. Maoli is set to begin a “Save the Abbey” campaign in an effort to convince the Morristown zoning board how much the community feels about the demolition of one of the area’s most iconic and last remaining mansion on “Millionaire’s Row,” which dotted Madison Avenue 100 years ago.

An email petition for “SAVE THE ABBEY “ link on the Abbey’s website ( will allow visitors to register their comments and cast a vote, either:
YES = save the Abbey - or NO = tear it down