Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

City of Westfield celebrates its 350th Birthday the Westfield Athenaeum

For Immediate Release

WESTFIELD – This weekend as the City of Westfield celebrates its 350th Birthday the Westfield Athenaeum, with over 150 years of its own history, will be joining in on the fun. The Athenaeum will be open to friends and visitors as a part of the Birthday celebrations on Friday, May 17, from 8:30 to 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, May 18, from 8:30 to 5:00 p.m. Community members are invited to stop by the Jasper Rand Art Gallery for the historical map display, where librarians will be on-hand to answer questions and walk patrons through maps and images of the Westfield of yesterday.  Saturday, the Edwin Smith Historical Museum is open with all of its artifacts and special exhibits, including the replica colonial kitchen, Westfield whips and the Ordinary, the high wheeled bicycle.  Also, the Boys and Girls Library will host a drop-in craft table throughout the day Saturday with a special craft and children can celebrate the City by signing a very special birthday card, and of course, eating birthday cake! With lots to see and do for Westfield residents of all ages, make sure a stop at the Athenaeum a part of your 350th Birthday weekend plans.

The Fowler-Gillett Homestead, with its iconic corner lot where Court Street meets Elm Street, was conveyed without consideration to the Westfield Athenaeum in 1898. For more than 120 years, the Westfield Athenaeum has been a cornerstone of Westfield’s downtown. From first library cards in the Boys and Girls Library, to the life-long learning through the Athenaeum Lecture Series in the Florence Rand Lang Auditorium, the Athenaeum has been shared by generations of Westfield families and witnessed its own share of Westfield history.

The Athenaeum has experienced exceptional development over the past three years during its Rise to Knowledge campaign. With restrooms being added to the first floor and a reconfigured entryway, complete with a brand new lift, the Athenaeum’s improvements and renovations have paved the way for the Athenaeum to continue its place in Westfield’s history for many years to come.


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