WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield native Neal Acito created a video recently detailing the history of one of Westfield’s oldest houses, the Pierson-Clark home. Built in 1755 and located at the end of East Broad Street, the home could be torn down to make room for a 55+ townhouse project.
Acito,who graduated Westfield High School graduate in 1981 and who has lived in the area for more than 40 years, said he wanted to fill some of the void of information about Westfield’s history.
“I had great teachers at Roosevelt like Mr. Nolde and Mr. Veit who would tell stories of the local history,” Acito said. “Apparently, some of that rubbed off on me.”
Several Westfield Board of Adjustment meetings have been held about the proposed townhouse project that could spell the end of the Pierson-Clark home, with the next meeting scheduled for May 30.
Nicholas Moreno, an engineering graduate from Drexel University who surveyed the site, testified at the March 30 meeting about the house’s condition. Through more than 30 pictures, Moreno documented a great deal of deterioration throughout the building from the roof to the infrastructure. Without putting a dollar amount on the repair costs, he indicated that it is a property that would require a substantial investment to fix.
Acito’s hopes for the house?
“First, we need to bring in an actual historian to study the home and property,” he said. “We need a serious study to make informed decisions. After that, there are a number of solutions including renovation, deconstruction or even moving the home. Whatever the solution, everyone needs to remember that we’re neighbors. We all want what’s best for Westfield. Above all, we should support each other as best we can, for that is the true nature of the character of our town.”