Granting more access
With more than 21,000 residents in 1950, Westfield, N.J., completed a new civic center in 1954 that would allow officials to serve its growing population, which was projected to reach 36,000. The $750,000 civic center, designed in a Colonial-brick style, included a municipal building and library that were connected by a lobby, according to the May 1955 issue of The American City. The three-level municipal building housed the mayor’s office, council chamber, the Board of Health, the police department and other offices. The second building contained the public library, which included areas for children and adults, as well as reference, music and reading rooms. Both buildings were designed within view of nearby Lake Mindowaskin.
Retaining its Colonial-style appearance, and servicing nearly 30,000 residents, the town hall still houses the court, mayor’s office and a regional health department. The administration, tax and police departments, and Westfield’s local access channel, TV 36, also are located there. The old library was moved to a former school in 1988, and the court violations bureau and town recreation department have replaced its reading rooms. An old children’s library is now a community room for local groups, part of an effort to make the building more accessible for all residents.