Originally known as West Fields, Westfield, NJ is a family-oriented community that encompasses 6.8 square miles and is located only 23 miles from New York City. It is one of the most popular towns in New Jersey for commuters and families alike. With its unique American appeal, people from all walks of life come here to settle down and enjoy the quiet life.
Home to more than 30,000 residents, Westfield can be classified by its quiet, tree-lined streets that many famous artists, sports figures and musicians call home. It is also a commuter’s haven with NJ Transit available – both bus and train – to NYC and Route 22 close by, offering connection to the major highways in the area. Newark airport is only 20 minutes away, making travel out of town convenient as well.
Westfield was originally developed as part of the Elizabethtown Tract. In 1724, it was formed as a township and incorporated as such in 1798 as one of the first 104 townships in New Jersey. From the early 1800s through the early 1900s several parts of Westfield Township were taken to form other townships including Plainfield Township, Mountainside and Hillside along with others. In 1903, Westfield became a town instead of a township and has remained a town ever since.
Like many of the surrounding towns, Westfield was once the home to Lenni-Lenape Indians and the streets are named in honor of them. Settled in the 19th century by Europeans, Westfield has undergone several areas that are dedicated to historical preservation and contain historical homes.
Residents of Westfield enjoy the lively downtown area and its retail shopping district. The shopping district alone boasts old world charm that has been the subject of many commercials, television series and movies. Instead of promoting big box shopping, the town of Westfield focuses on its residents offering quaint shops, small boutiques and café restaurants that line an appealing streetscape.
It is an excellent scenic town as well, boasting over 211 acres of parkland and ball fields that allow for outdoor recreation. Echo Lake Park is run by the county and offers the opportunity for boating and fishing. Beautiful scenery in the form of gardens, gazebos and fountains can be found in Mindowaskin Park located conveniently near Town Hall. Mindowaskin Park is also a site of a town tradition since 1912, where the town hosts concerts in the park every summer.
The Westfield Library is a large community library that houses over 250,000 books in addition to public computers and a wide variety of multimedia options. Throughout the year, you will find that the Westfield Library offers a multitude of classes for adults, teens and children alike.
There are several schools located within Westfield. Six elementary schools, two middle schools and a single high school cater to the town’s students. Not to be outdone by surrounding towns and their education, 94% of Westfield’s high school graduates move onto higher education.
Surrounding colleges in the area include Fairleigh Dickinson University, Union County College, Drew University and Rutgers University.
Government and Politics
In Westfield, there is a Mayor along with an eight member town council in which all positions are filled through way of partisan elections. The mayor is directly elected, instead of appointed and serves a four year term. The town council members each serve four years, but in staggered terms meaning one seat opens up every other year.
Real estate in Westfield consists of charming older generation housing including Cape Cods, Victorian and Colonial homes are available, many with wide, open welcoming front porches.
Currently, there are over 100 homes for sale in Westfield with an average listing price of $943,427. The median sales prices for homes in the last quarter of 2012 were approximately $580,750.