East Main Street Historic District
The East Main Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document amendment, dated 2000.  Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.
Along East Main Street in Westfield, New York, just east of the village's commercial center, the East Main Street Historic District encompasses twenty buildings and one cemetery. Most of the East Main Street Historic District's buildings were constructed between the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One modern office building and one modern residence interrupt the character of the district. The East Main Street Historic District is separated from the French Portage Road Historic District by several modern intrusions on the southwest. Just northeast of 200 East Main Street are several modern intrusions.
Within the East Main Street Historic District stand six mid-nineteenth century residences, three late nineteenth century residences, nine early twentieth century residences, and two modern intrusions. Elaborate examples of the Italian Villa, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Neo-Georgian, and Colonial Revival styles are represented in the area. The East Main Street Historic District's several early twentieth century vernacular residences employ classical detailing and catalogue or catalogue-type plans popular in the period. The Westfield Cemetery is situated in the north-central portion of the district and extends from East Main Street north to Academy Street. Trees lining the cemetery's roadway create a canopied drive.
Mid-nineteenth century structures anchor the lots creating the East Main Street Historic District's corners. A large, mid-nineteenth century Italianate Italian Villa style residence presently housing hospital offices stands at the southeast corner of the district. The building, set well back from the street, is approached by a semi-circular drive. Two cast-iron dogs appear in front of the house as lawn decorations. The large Italianate residence at the southwest corner of the East Main Street Historic District features paired round-arch windows, embellished corbel stops, and bracketed cornice.
With examples of several of the architectural styles popular from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, the East Main Street Historic District displays a diversity of design with an uncompromised consistency in scale and quality. Its significance lies in its largely intact architectural resources and landscape and in its relationship to the development of Westfield, New York.
One of the two early thoroughfares in the village, Main Street was the site of Westfield's initial commercial buildings and was a portion of an early stagecoach route. Just east of the brick commercial blocks of the 1860's and 1870's on Main Street between Portage and Market Streets, residential buildings of the same period stood on both sides of East Main. During the late nineteenth century and particularly during the early twentieth century, other residences were built on lots between the earlier homes. Today this residential streetscape is interrupted by modern intrusions near Cottage, Academy and Holt Streets, thus eliciting separate districts for the stately residences on Main Street east and west of the intrusions.
A number of Italianate and Italian Villa style residences as well as a Gothic Revival style residence and a Second Empire style residence constitute the East Main Street Historic District's mid-nineteenth century structures. At least one of these buildings, the Italian Villa style building at 189 East Main Street, was designed by the Westfield architect-builder Elias Barger. The later residences include several examples of Colonial Revival style, one exceptional example of the Neo-Georgian style, and one example of the Bungalow style. In addition, several of the later homes appear similar to catalogue designs popular in the early twentieth century. The Jerome Farrar House at 196 East Main is near-identical to a stock plan advertised in The Radford American Homes of 1903.[†]
The lands constituting the Westfield Cemetery, in the north central portion of the East Main Street Historic District, were purchased by the village of Westfield in 1840. Maple trees planted on both sides of the cemetery road grew to form an imposing arched passage. Many of the cemetery's monuments were carved locally at the Nixon Marbleworks on West Main Street. The early simple marble head stones facing Main Street date from the 1840's while the more elaborate Victorian stones flank the central tree lined roadway about half way toward Academy Street.
[†] Marlene and Therold Lindquist Architecture in Westfield (Westfield, New York: Lakeshore Association for the Arts, 1975), no page numbers, (p.6).