WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s a Westfield landmark, one of five buildings in town listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but for nearly 10 years the firehouse downtown was missing its crown — a wooden dome that once sat atop the hose tower. On Friday, that dome was restored.
In 2006, the dome was removed due to instability — for the second time in history it turned out, according to Town Administrator Jim Gildea, who discovered that it had been removed from the hose tower (where, historically, hoses were put to dry) in the 1960s for the same reason.
“The dome on top really makes the building what it is,” Gildea said.
Returning the dome took time because the town needed to find someone who could restore it properly, Gildea told the town council at a conference meeting Tuesday. Late Fire Chief Dan Kelly began the process, and current Chief David Kelly oversaw the final touches.
Others who helped make the restoration possible were Joe Difrancesco, owner of Custom Woodworking, who donated his labor to restore the dome; Jim Brandt, owner of Brandt Crane, who donated time and use of his company’s crane to place the dome Friday; and Battalion Chief Anthony Tiller, Battalion Chief Tim Brennan, Retired Battalion Chief Michael Brennan and all of B Platoon, who volunteered their time to help return the dome to its proper place.
“It was no small feat,” Gildea said.