The Westfield Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) presented its Harry Devlin Awards for outstanding efforts in restoring, expanding or updating older properties to 12 property owners at a reception in the Community Room of town hall on Thursday, June 14. A special award was given to Helaine Donnelly and Pat Velderman in recognition of their work to establish the Kimball Avenue Historic District and the preservation commission.
Kelly Kessler (chairman of the HPC) and Mayor Shelley Brindle welcomed the recipients and guests after a several year hiatus in the presenting the awards. Named for Harry Devlin, a noted artist and architectural historian who was one of the founding judges, the awards program recognizes projects that follow generally accepted historic preservation guidelines. Wende Devlin Gates gave a short biography of her father, who would have turned 100 this March.
Awards were presented in five categories, beginning with three for Commercial or Institutional Property. Fire Chief David J. Kelly accepted an award on behalf of the Westfield Fire Department for the 2015 restoration of the domed cupola on top of the firehouse, one of five town properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ellie and Mike Mroz of Michael Robert Construction were acknowledged for the restoration of their 1940s office at 400 West Broad Street, which included replicating the leaded glass transom windows, aided by a grant from the Downtown Westfield Corporation.
Keith Hertell received an award for the addition of an exterior elevator tower that matched the style and materials of his original 1892 office building at 322 Elm Street.
Two awards were given for New Construction Appropriate to the Character of the Area. Kristen Maloney and Ron Bevan accepted an award for their residence at 614 Boulevard which replaced a turn-of-the century property with structural deficiencies. The new property features a wide porch that matched the footprint of the original and blends with the surrounding older homes. Pamela and Robert Newell were recognized for their new carriage-house style garage that matches their 1881 home at 603 Clark Street.
Awards for Period-Appropriate Painting were given to Emma and Alfonso Ciullo for their 1890 Second Empire Victorian two-family home at 833 South Avenue West and to Jessica and Richard Steward for their Queen Anne Victorian at 226 Dudley Avenue West.
Four awards were given for Sensitive Addition and Restoration. Hillary and David Crall of 15 Kimball Circle were recognized for the twin additions flanking their 1928 Neo-Georgian brick home, which seamlessly matched the original structure in scale, materials and attention to detail. Beth and Keith Derman of 814 Embree Crescent received an award for the extensive work on their 1873 farmhouse, which included removing an attached garage and replacing two earlier additions with an expansive porch and details in keeping with the Italianate Victorian vernacular style.
Sydney Sherry of 641 Elm Street was recognized for the addition and extensive renovation to her 1911 Victorian residence, which addressed foundation repairs and added living space and a garage while maintaining the home’s vintage details. Katherine Abesamis and Frederik Westerling of 522 Elm Street received an award for work on the 1907 “Charles Addams House,” which included restoring the original cedar siding and creating a rear addition. The residence of artist Charles Addams from 1920 to 1947, the property is a Westfield historic landmark.
Lindsey Lifrieri and Thomas Cuffaro of 232 Clark Street received an award for Sensitive Addition and Period-Appropriate Painting for their 1890 Victorian home. Recent renovations visible from the Ludlow Place side replicate the front porch details and the overall color scheme was chosen with the help of an historic house color expert.
The final award of the evening was by presented by Dominick Volini to Helaine Donnelly and her late husband Pat Velderman as tireless advocates for historic preservation for over 40 years in Westfield. Describing Pat Velderman as a “Renaissance man,” Mr. Volini related how he rallied the residents of the Kimball Avenue to create the historic district following the demolition of a beloved Victorian property across the street in the 1980s. He later helped draft the original ordinance forming the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission. The award was accepted by Helaine Donnelly and their son Christopher Velderman and will hereafter be known as the Velderman Award, given to residents who go above and beyond in preserving historic properties.
For additional information on the Harry Devlin Preservation Awards or to learn more about designating an historic property, please visit westfieldnj.gov/historic preservation.