Westfield, New Jersey facts for kids
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Westfield, New Jersey
|Town of Westfield|
Map of Westfield in Union County. Inset: Location of Union County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Westfield, New Jersey
|Formed||January 27, 1794|
|Incorporated||February 21, 1798 (as township)|
|Reincorporated||March 4, 1903 (as town)|
|• Type||Special Charter|
|• Body||Town Council|
|• Total||6.74 sq mi (17.46 km2)|
|• Land||6.72 sq mi (17.42 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2) 0.28%|
|Area rank||246th of 565 in state
5th of 21 in county
|Elevation||118 ft (36 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Rank||74th of 566 in state
5th of 21 in county
|• Density||4,512.2/sq mi (1,742.2/km2)|
|• Density rank||127th of 566 in state
12th of 21 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||0885436|
Westfield is a town in Union County, New Jersey, United States, located 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Manhattan. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 30,316, reflecting an increase of 672 (+2.3%) from the 29,644 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 774 (+2.7%) from the 28,870 counted in the 1990 Census.
In March 2018, Bloomberg ranked Westfield as the 99th highest-income place in the United States, and the 18th highest-income location in New Jersey. According to a 2014 nationwide survey, Westfield was ranked as the 30th-safest city to live in the United States.
The town has been one of the state's highest-income communities. Based on data from the American Community Survey for 2013–2017, Westfield residents had a median household income of $159,923, ranked 8th in the state among municipalities with more than 10,000 residents, more than double the statewide median of $76,475.
The old village area, now the downtown district, was settled in 1720 as part of the Elizabethtown Tract. Westfield was originally formed as a township on January 27, 1794, from portions of Elizabeth Township, while the area was still part of Essex County, and was incorporated on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature. It became part of the newly formed Union County on March 19, 1857. Portions of the township have been taken to form Rahway Township (February 27, 1804), Plainfield Township (April 5, 1847), Cranford Township (March 14, 1871), Fanwood Township (March 6, 1878; now known as Scotch Plains) and Mountainside (September 25, 1895). The Town of Westfield was incorporated on March 4, 1903, replacing Westfield Township. The name of the town is derived from its location in the western, undeveloped fields of the Elizabethtown tract.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 6.743 square miles (17.463 km2), including 6.719 square miles (17.401 km2) of land and 0.024 square miles (0.062 km2) of water (0.36%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Germantown.
Six municipalities border the town of Westfield: Mountainside to the north, Springfield Township to the northeast, Garwood and Cranford to the east, Clark to the southeast, and Scotch Plains to the west and southwest.
Westfield consists of two sides of the town, the North Side and the South Side. Neighborhoods include Brightwood, Country Club Estates, The Gardens, Indian Forest, Kimball Avenue Historic District, Manor Park, Stonehenge, Stoneleigh Park and Wychwood.
The Westfield Memorial Library was founded in 1873 as the "Every Saturday Book Club" and has evolved over the past century into the Westfield Memorial Library of today. The Library is located in a large, modern, Williamsburg-style building at 550 East Broad Street. The library's collection consists of over 250,000 books, two dozen public computers, a wide array of multimedia options, a large youth services area with a vivid mural depicting Westfield history, and multiple tables and carrels for studying. The library offers classes for adults and children, storytimes for children, and computer instruction.
Westfield's downtown features many local and national stores, such as Lord & Taylor and several landmarks that were shown and used in the NBC network television show Ed such as the Rialto Theater. There are over 40 restaurants and casual dining establishments throughout the downtown. Downtown is located mostly north of the Westfield train station. The downtown area has a mix of independent stores and boutiques as well as national stores. Over one-third of the retailers and restaurants have existed for 25 years or more.
Downtown Westfield, with over 200 retail establishments and 400 commercial enterprises, is a regional destination in New Jersey. The Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC) manages the Special Improvement District (SID) area's growth and enhancement. The DWC participates in the National Main Street program associated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is funded by a SID assessment on downtown properties and operates as the district's management agency. The DWC sponsors marketing efforts and promotions, special event planning, urban design and building improvement projects. The DWC works closely with the town government and volunteer groups to improve the downtown area. In 2004, Westfield won the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust. In 2010, Westfield was the winner of the America in Bloom contest for communities with a population of 25,001–50,000 against the other two towns entered in their category. Shopping and dining in Westfield attracts citizens from other communities across the state.
Several war memorials (including ones dedicated to the Korean War, World War II, and the Spanish–American War) are located in a plaza near the downtown. The plaza is also home to the September 11 Memorial Park, which pays special tribute to the residents of Westfield who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
1810–1920 1840 1850–1870
1850 1870 1880–1890
1930–1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
As of the census of 2010, there were 30,316 people, 10,566 households, and 8,199 families residing in the town. The population density was 4,512.2 per square mile (1,742.2/km2). There were 10,950 housing units at an average density of 1,629.8 per square mile (629.3/km2)*. The racial makeup of the town was 88.17% (26,729) White, 3.25% (984) Black or African American, 0.12% (36) Native American, 5.67% (1,718) Asian, 0.03% (10) Pacific Islander, 0.79% (241) from other races, and 1.97% (598) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.92% (1,492) of the population.
There were 10,566 households out of which 43.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.0% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.31.
In the town, the population was spread out with 30.0% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 29.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.0 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 87.2 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $127,799 (with a margin of error of +/− $10,580) and the median family income was $150,797 (+/− $11,480). Males had a median income of $111,762 (+/− $7,767) versus $71,217 (+/− $5,624) for females. The per capita income for the town was $63,498 (+/− $4,577). About 0.9% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the town had a total of 108.63 miles (174.82 km) of roadways, of which 96.69 miles (155.61 km) were maintained by the municipality, 9.94 miles (16.00 km) by Union County and 2.00 miles (3.22 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The main road serving Westfield is New Jersey Route 28, which runs for about two miles alongside the commuter railroad that marks the boundary between the town's North and South Sides. Westfield can also be accessed by Exits 135 and 137 of the nearby Garden State Parkway, or by the Lawrence, Mountain, or Springfield Avenue exits of U.S. Route 22.
NJ Transit (NJT) provides passenger rail service from the Westfield train station on the Raritan Valley Line to Newark Penn Station with connecting service to New York Penn Station. Westfield riders are able to make a one-seat ride (no transfer necessary) into NY Penn Station during weekday off-peak hours, which was made possible by upgrades of the NJT train equipment to operate into New York City. Westfield's position and schedule on the Raritan Valley Line make it desirable for commuters, as several times in the morning and evening rush hours a non-stop service operates to/from Newark Penn Station. On these non-stop services, the one-way journey time to/from NY Penn Station is 50 minutes, or 20 minutes to/from Newark Penn Station.
The NJT 113 bus route provides one-seat service to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal seven days per week from the town center, taking approximately one hour to NYC, with additional service available along Route 22 on the northern edge of the town (NJT bus routes 114 and 117), taking approximately 45 minutes. The 59 route provides local bus service between Plainfield and Newark.
Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 20 minutes away, most conveniently reached via Route 22 or NJT trains. Linden Airport, a general aviation facility, is in nearby Linden, New Jersey.
Residential telephone service is provided by Verizon Communications. Westfield cable television is supplied by Comcast , which also delivers Westfield Community Television (channel 36), News 12 New Jersey (channel 62), and Scotch Plains Local Access Channel (channel 34) Verizon FiOS is also offered in Westfield, which gives the option of digital cable, high-speed internet and telephone service. Power is supplied through the Public Service Electric and Gas Company. Gas is supplied by Elizabethtown Gas and water by American Water of New Jersey. Recycling is collected curbside by private haulers contracted by the Department of Public Works on a biweekly basis, while trash is collected by private haulers hired by residents.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Metropolis of New Jersey is headquartered in Westfield.
Public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades attend the Westfield Public Schools. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of 10 schools, had an enrollment of 6,304 students and 500.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.6:1. The district has a central kindergarten, six neighborhood elementary schools (grades 1-5), two middle schools (grades 6-8) divided by a "North Side / South Side" boundary, and one high school (grades 9-12). The schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Lincoln Early Childhood Center (with 310 students; in grades PreK-K), Franklin Elementary School (580; 1-5 - North), Jefferson Elementary School (442; 1-5 - South), McKinley Elementary School (341; 1-5 - South), Tamaques Elementary School (401; 1-5 - South), Washington Elementary School (309; 1-5 - North), Wilson Elementary School (355; 1-5 - North), Roosevelt Intermediate School (777; 6-8 - North), Thomas Alva Edison Intermediate School (844; 6-8 - South) and Westfield High School (1,865; 9-12).
For high school, public school students from Westfield and all of Union County are eligible to apply to attend the Union County Vocational Technical Schools, which include Union County Magnet High School, Union County Academy for Information Technology, Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences, Union County Vocational Technical High School and Union County Academy for Performing Arts.
Holy Trinity Interparochial School is a Middle States-accredited Catholic school run by the three parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Helen's in Westfield along with Our Lady of Lourdes in Mountainside, which offers education from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade and operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Westfield include:
- Marc Acito (born 1966), playwright, novelist and humorist.
- Charles Addams (1912–1988), cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine, most famous for his cartoons of The Addams Family.
- Kim Alsop (born c. 1933), former head coach of the Samford Bulldogs football team.
- Virginia Apgar (1909–1974), creator of the Apgar score for assessing health of newborns.
- Billy Ard (born 1959), former NFL guard for the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers.
- H. W. Ambruster (1879–1961), football coach, chemical engineer, actor and lecturer.
- Omar Ashmawy, staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics.
- Richard Bagger (born 1960), former mayor, who served as chief of staff for Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie.
- Robert L. Barchi (born 1946), twentieth president of Rutgers University, 2012-2020.
- Cheryl Barnes, singer and actress best known for her role in Miloš Forman's 1979 film adaptation of Hair, where she played the mother of Hud's little son.
- Carolyn Beebe (1873–1950), pianist who was a founder of the New York Chamber Music Society.
- Bryan Beller (born 1971), bass guitarist known for his work with Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, Dethklok, James LaBrie of Dream Theater and Dweezil Zappa.
- Jon Bramnick (born 1953), member of the New Jersey General Assembly who has represented the 21st Legislative District since 2003.
- Brock Brower (1931–2014), novelist, magazine journalist and TV writer.
- Dave Brown (born 1970), NFL quarterback drafted in the 1st round of the supplemental draft, 1992-2000 (New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals).
- Steve Brozak (born 1961), Managing Partner and President of WBB Securities, LLC, a Democratic congressional candidate in the 2004 election cycle and the Chairman and CEO of StormBio, Inc.
- Robert N. Buck (1914–2007), aviator and author who broke 14 junior airspeed records in the 1930s, started his flying career at the Westfield Airport.
- Alan Bunce (1900–1965), radio and television actor.
- Devin Caherly (born 2001, class of 2019), social media personality.
- Chris Campbell (born 1954), wrestler who won a bronze medalist in Freestyle wrestling at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
- Gil Chapman (born 1953), running back and return specialist for the University of Michigan and New Orleans Saints.
- Steve Cheek (born 1977), NFL punter, 2001–2005 (San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers).
- Michael Chertoff (born 1953), United States Secretary of Homeland Security and former United States district court Judge.
- John Chironna (1928–2010), head coach of the Rhode Island Rams football team in 1961 and 1962.
- Chris Christie (born 1962), Governor of New Jersey, who lived in Westfield for a year while his home in Mendham was under construction.
- Bob Clotworthy (1931–2018), diver who competed in the 3 m springboard at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics and won a bronze and a gold medal, respectively.
- Grover Connell (1918–2018), American rice trader and longtime member of the Forbes 400.
- Pat Cosquer (born 1975), college squash coach.
- John Cuneo (born 1957), illustrator, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated and The Atlantic.
- Nicholas Delpopolo (born 1989), judoka who has represented the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2016 Summer Olympics.
- Robert S. Dietz (1914–1995), marine geologist, geophysicist and oceanographer who conducted pioneering research concerning seafloor spreading.
- Alexander Wilson Drake (1843–1916), artist, collector and critic.
- Sara Driver (born 1955), independent filmmaker.
- Michael DuHaime (born 1974), Republican strategist and public affairs executive.
- Geoff Edwards (1931–2014), actor and game show host.
- Edward Einhorn (born 1970), children's author, director and playwright.
- Mike Emanuel (born 1967), Washington correspondent for Fox News.
- Gail Falkenberg (born 1947), professional tennis player, who may be the oldest tournament tennis player of all time, having competed in ITF Women's World Tennis Tour tournaments as recently as 2021, at age 74.
- Thomas Farley, pediatrician who served as the commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Health.
- Kevin Feige (born 1973), film producer and President of Marvel Studios.
- Michael Fennelly (born 1949), rock guitarist, singer and songwriter who performed with The Millennium and Crabby Appleton.
- Gerald Foster (1900–1987). painter who competed in the painting event in the art competition at the 1932 Summer Olympics.
- William Chapman Foster (1897-1984), businessman and high-ranking government official who negotiated multiple arms control treaties.
- Nona Garson (born 1958), equestrian who competed in team jumping and individual jumping at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
- GH057ayame (gamer tag of Eric Hewitt), retired professional Major League Gaming gamer who works for 343 Industries working on future Halo games.
- Gina Glantz (born c. 1943), political strategist, campaign manager, field director and consultant.
- John Duval Gluck (1878–1951), philanthropist, customs broker and con artist who is best known for popularizing the practice of sending and answering letters to Santa Claus in New York City.
- Dan Graham (born 1942), artist, writer, and curator.
- Joseph Greenspan (born 1992), soccer player for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC of the United Soccer League.
- Robert Greifeld (born 1957), CEO of NASDAQ-OMX.
- Matt Gutman (born 1977), ABC News correspondent.
- Harry Hanan (1916–1982), cartoonist of the syndicated comic strip Louie.
- Kenneth Hand (1899–1988), politician and judge who served in the New Jersey Senate.
- Walt Hansgen (1919–1966), racecar driver.
- Chuck Hardwick (born 1941), politician and business leader who served as Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly and was a candidate for Governor of New Jersey.
- Langston Hughes (1902–1967), poet.
- Clark Hulings (1922–2011), realist artist.
- Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960), folklorist.
- Scott Jacobs (born 1958), painter known for his photorealistic work of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, who became the company's first official licensed artist in 1993.
- Robert Kaplow (born c. 1954), teacher and novelist whose coming-of-age novel was made into a film titled Me and Orson Welles.
- Thomas Kean Jr. (born 1968), New Jersey State Senator and son of former Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean.
- Mary Jo Keenen, actress who appeared on Nurses.
- Kevin Kelly (born 1952), founder of Wired magazine.
- Martin Kunert (born 1970), film director and TV writer/producer of Voices of Iraq, MTV's Fear and Campfire Tales.
- Christian J. Lambertsen (1917–2011), "the father of the Frogmen".
- Margaret Carver Leighton (1896–1987), children's author.
- Ira Lewis (1932–2015), actor and playwright, whose works included Chinese Coffee.
- Matt Loughlin, sportscaster who is the radio play-by-play voice of the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League on WFAN.
- Andrew McCarthy (born 1962), actor who appeared in Weekend at Bernie's and is currently starring in The Family.
- Sy Montgomery (born 1958), naturalist, author and scriptwriter.
- Patrick Morrisey (born 1967), elected as Attorney General of West Virginia in 2012.
- Rebecca Morse (born 1992), ice hockey defender, currently playing for the Metropolitan Riveters of the National Women's Hockey League.
- Laura Overdeck, entrepreneur and philanthropist who is the founder and president of Bedtime Math.
- Bill Palatucci (born 1958), attorney who is a member of the Republican National Committee and the New Jersey Apportionment Commission, and led the selection of staff for the presidential transition of Donald Trump.
- Randolph Perkins (1871–1936), mayor of Westfield from 1903 to 1905, and represented New Jersey's 6th congressional district from 1921 to 1936.
- Dave Perkowski (born 1947), former competition swimmer who represented the United States in the 100-meter breaststroke event at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
- Arthur N. Pierson (1867–1957), businessman and politician who served as Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly and President of the New Jersey Senate.
- Paul Robeson (1898–1976), athlete, actor, singer, political activist, NFL guard from 1920 to 1922 for the Akron Pros and Milwaukee Badgers.
- Andrew K. Ruotolo (1952-1995), politician who served as the Union County, New Jersey prosecutor.
- John Rzeznik (born 1965), lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls.
- Bret Schundler (born 1959), former Mayor of Jersey City and former New Jersey gubernatorial candidate.
- Amos Scudder (1779-1856), architect and builder
- Ephraim Scudder (1819–1872), builder
- John Scudder (1815–1869), builder
- Coleen Sexton (born 1979), actress who made her Broadway debut at age 20 in Jekyll & Hyde in 2000.
- Matthew Sklar (born 1973), Tony Award and Emmy Award-nominated composer of Broadway musicals The Prom, Elf the Musical, and The Wedding Singer
- Jessica St. Clair (born 1976), actress and improvisational comedian.
- Dan Soucek (born 1969), North Carolina State Senator.
- Jeff Torborg (born 1941), MLB player and manager.
- P. Roy Vagelos (born 1929), former Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co.
- Jeffrey A. Warsh (born 1960), former member of the New Jersey General Assembly and Executive Director of NJ Transit.
- Dave Weinstein (born 1988), appointed by Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie in 2016 to serve as the state's Chief Technology Officer.
- Roger Welch (born 1946), conceptual artist.
- Harrison A. Williams (1919–2001), U.S. Senator who was forced to resign in the face of expulsion due to his involvement in the Abscam case.
- Malinda Williams (born 1975), actress.
- Glen Everett Woolfenden (1930–2007), ornithologist, known for his long-term study of the Florida scrub jay population at Archbold Biological Station near Lake Placid, Florida.
- Harold "Butch" Woolfolk (born 1960), NFL running back from 1982 to 1988 who played for the New York Giants, Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions.
- Dan Yemin, punk rock guitarist.
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