WESTFIELD, NJ — A historic restoration that dressed up the downtown’s historic Flatiron building and the conversion of a previously rodent-infested home on East Dudley into Victorian elegance are among the local efforts recently recognized by the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission.
The commission presented its annual Devlin Preservation Awards for 10 projects and in two special categories at a ceremony and reception earlier this month. Named in honor of artist, author and architectural historian Harry Devlin, the awards program honors outstanding efforts in restoring, expanding and updating older properties.
“This year we had nearly 30 nominations for the awards, which is a very encouraging sign for preservation efforts in Westfield but made for some difficult decisions for our committee,” said Jennifer Jaruzelski, a member of the Historic Preservation Commission who chaired the committee for the Devlin Awards.
The owners of the Flatiron Building at 44 Elm St. received an award for their extensive restoration of the building. The renovation exposed cast iron columns and restored the original stained glass windows.
Sherry Cronin, director of the Downtown Westfield Corporation, accepted the award for the Flatiron Building on behalf of Regina Calcagno.
“The Flatiron restoration was a labor of love and source of pride for Andrew Calcagno,” said Cronin, referencing Regina’s husband. “This building is a lasting legacy to Westfield after Andrew’s sudden passing on May 20, 2019.”
The Brass Shop
The Brass Shop, 611 Central Ave. was named a “partner in preservation” for its efforts in restoring the antique lighting and hardware for many of Westfield’s most prominent historic properties. Owned by the Giannone family for over 50 years, the shop has done work for the Reeve House’s history center, The Mindowaskin Park overlook, several houses of worship and countless historic residences.
The Historic Preservation Commission has also taken a shine to the shop.
“For many of Westfield’s most historic properties, replacing missing crystals and lost shades, wiring formerly gas fixtures, and restoring the shine to everything from doorknobs to hinges to fire extinguishers,” Jaruzelski said.
The commission also honored Shirzad Mustafa, a Westfield High School freshman who read his winning entry into the student art and writing contest, “Walk Down Boulevard.” The poem imagines the path taken by a housemaid at the turn of the century.
The winners of the preservation portion of the Devlin awards include three public and commercial projects and seven private residences varying in style from Colonial to Tudor to Victorian, the Historic Preservation Commission announced.
The commission recognized the Department of Public Works for its new annex, which was designed to seamlessly blend with the earlier building at 959 North Ave.
“What we look for is people who are trying to keep the properties as authentic as possible,” Jaruzelski told TAPinto Westfield. “For example, the public works building is not something people would think of as historic preservation but they matched the materials including the brick the lintels.”
The First Congregational Church of Westfield earned a Devlin award for its belfry restoration at 125 Elmer Street.
Sigrid Amil and Robert Lyszczarz received an award in the category of Adaptive Reuse for converting the former doctor’s office at 519 E. Broad Street back to a single-family Victorian style home.
Awards for restoration went to Kaitlin Curry and Joseph Passaro for 216 Sylvania Place and Jennifer and Michael Basta for 827 Highland Avenue.
“Renovations included new siding, details and shutters,” Jaruzelski said. “The existing entryway with faux brick walls and Chippendale pediment was replaced with a new front portico that is architecturally appropriate to the style of the period.”
The 1850 Victorian residence at 229 E. Dudley Ave. was recognized for outstanding restoration and painting. Owners Sam and Jennifer Khichi lowered the three-story front portico to expose the upper windows and added a balustrade and widow’s walk to emulate those features from the original façade.
The commission also thanked the Khichis for loaning their original Charles Addams’ skeleton painting from the home’s carriage house to the town-wide AddamsFest, a festival of Westfield native and cartoonist Charles Addams held last fall.
Robert and Janet Smith received an award for Restoration and Painting for the 20-year preservation effort on their home at 202 W. Dudley Ave. The home was vacant and rodent-infested when they purchased it in 1997 but after extensive research and restoration work – most of it done by Robert himself – they were able to bring it back to its Victorian-era elegance.
Awards for Sensitive Addition were given to two Eclectic Tudor properties, the Andrew and Sherry Hines residence at 28 Stoneleigh Park and the Fred and Donna Marra home at 1011 Boulevard.
For information on seeking historic designation of a property, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more photographs of the winning projects and additional information on the Devlin Awards, visit westfieldnj.gov/historic preservation.