Union County News

Downtown Westfield Buildings Get a Colorful New Look

Buildings on Elm Street in Downtown Westfield got a new look this week. Credits: James Ward

WESTFIELD, NJ — Painters had barely begun to work on the exteriors of 17-33 Elm Street earlier this week when the buzz began. Taking to Facebook, some called the pink, yellow and blue paint being applied to the exposed brick “horrendous” and “a shame.” Others said it was “gorgeous” and “cheerful.”

“People asked me, why did I do it,” said owner James Ward, known for building the New Orleans-style James Ward Mansion and Parisian-style Savannah downtown. “I did it because I love Westfield and I wanted to do something beautiful.”

He also wanted to make the 800 square feet of retail space he has available for rent there more attractive, he said

Sign Up for E-News

The Westfield Leader printed its photo of the unfinished paint job on its front page this week with the caption, “Buildings along Elm Street were painted in bright pastels this week, causing residents old and new to take to Facebook to voice their unhappiness.”

“I did hear some of the negative comments, and people were commenting on the primer that I put up, not the finished product,” Ward said. Once it was completed, he said, “I had a couple of people literally stop me on the street and say, ‘Oh my God, it’s beautiful.’”

He said new look was inspired by his travels.

“I travel a lot and it reminds me of Charleston, Savannah, Amsterdam, Puerto Rico, New Orleans,” he said.

To critics who say the new colors are not in keeping with colonial Westfield, he answered that colonial buildings were often painted in bright colors, and that Westfield’s architecture is not all colonial, anyway.

“Westfield, like Manhattan, has many, many types of architectural styles, which really makes Westfield beautiful,” he said.

Ward said he hopes all the talk will be beneficial to local businesses, bringing people to Elm Street to see the new look for themselves and shop and eat downtown while they’re at it.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


U.S. Junior Amateur: Michael Thorbjornsen Rallies to Edge Akshay Bhatia for Title

July 22, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Find a way. Just find a way to grind and maybe an opportunity will present itself.

16-year old and seventh-seed Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley, Mass. did just that on Saturday afternoon as he edged fellow 16-year-old and good friend 12th-seeded Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, North Carolina, 1 up, to capture the 71st annual USGA U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and ...

Kid Make Their Own Pizza

July 20, 2018

Parents, looking for something special and fun for your kids on the weekend?

Emma's is now hosting "Kids Make Their Own Pizza" on the weekends. Also, we are now booking kid parties!

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Emma's Brick Oven, Cranford

Emma's Kids Night Out!

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Wed, July 25, 2:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

Cranford Emergency Blood Drive - Pair of NY Mets ...

Giving Back Health & Wellness


Sat, July 28, 12:00 PM

Clark Recreation Center, Clark

Clark PD vs Clark FD BBQ Cook-Off

Food & Drink Police & Fire

Tired of Cronyism? Yeah, Us Too!

July 20, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...