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Invite an Author

Every month, we highlight an author in an initiative called "BCCLS Invite an Author". Many of these authors are happy to visit BCCLS libraries to chat with your book clubs or present programs either in person or via Skype. You can email them directly for more information or to schedule a library visit.

Previous Authors

December 2012

Richard Polton

Richard Polton


   Richard Polton


Featured Articles:

     NJ Monthly's Holiday Round-Up
     Wall Street Journal


  • The Life & Times of Fred Wesley Wentworth

Letter of Introduction:

Dear Colleagues:

Part of what makes New Jersey’s history so rich is the continued vibrancy of its cities. And while Paterson may not be a ‘BCCLS’ town, its history has impacted and touched the lives of many of our residents, many of whom have fond memories and a continued interest in the ‘Silk City.’

December’s author, a non-fiction writer, has penned a biography of Fred Wesley Wentworth, an architect whose work was instrumental to Paterson and whose buildings still exist there today. But Mr. Wentworth’s buildings can be found elsewhere in NJ, too. Has anyone ever been to the Stanley Theatre in Jersey City, to say nothing of the Blauvelt Mansion in Oradell? The word ‘majestic’ immediately comes to mind for these structures.

It is with great enthusiasm that I present Richard Polton as BCCLS Invite an Author for December 2012.

Richard Polton grew up in Paterson. He studied American history at Columbia, architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and city planning at MIT. Polton is a founding principal of Value Research Group, a real estate valuation and consulting firm that specializes in issues of affordable housing and urban redevelopment. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Hamilton Partnership for Paterson, a non-profit organization to help launch the Paterson National Park and enhance its educational, social and economic benefits for Paterson. He lives in Glen Ridge.

Mr. Polton’s biography, The Life & Times of Fred Wesley Wentworth: The Architect Who Shaped Paterson, NJ and Its People makes Paterson’s rich history come alive through the telling of Fred Wentworth’s life.

"The Life & Times of Fred Wesley Wentworth is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the works of this important architect. The photos and organization of the material make for a compelling story."

Kathy Waldron, President of William Paterson University

"Clearly written and beautifully illustrated, Polton's superb book shows how a talented architect and remarkable clients can shape the quality of an urban setting for generations."

Leonard Zax, President of The Hamilton Partnership for Paterson (disclosure: Richard is on the Board of Trustees for The Hamilton Partnership for Paterson)

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article about the Mr. Polton’s book:

And here’s a link to a recent article from
native_ discovers_works_of_forgotten_city_architect.html

And yet another from New Jersey Monthly’s Holiday Round-Up:

Rutgers University Press has been very generous and has donated copies of the book to BCCLS - as always, first come, first served. If you’d like to add a copy to your library’s collection (and please don’t ask for a copy if you do not plan to add it), send me an email and I’ll send a copy to you immediately.

Mr. Polton is available to speak (at no cost) and to sign books at our libraries and I hope you can see what a fascinating presentation his would be. Please contact him directly at:

On behalf of all of us at the BCCLS office, a very happy holiday season filled with good books and a smooth and uneventful migration. Yay Polaris!

Warmest regards,