Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

2014 PRESERVATION AWARD NARRATIVE REHABILITATION & RESTORATION CATEGORY

Domus, Incorporated

The Elm Street Revitalization Project was completed in 2010 and is comprised of three different building in our Westfield Center Historic District. 

The oldest of the building, The Loomis Building, 118-120 Elm Street was built in 1872 constructed in the Italianate mode and the brick façade is composed of architectural elements that are harmonious with the other older buildings surrounding it.  The windows are trimmed with projecting brick sills and hood molds supported by a series of brackets.

Originally the building was a commercial property and for many years was a general hardware store and through the decades housed many different commercial enterprises.  The two upper stories of the building were primarily used for storage. 

Domus, Inc. purchased the building in 2008 and began major construction to create a totally renovated commercial and residential property.  The storage space and some rooms were used as a rooming-style shelter on the upper floors were constructed into apartment with two each on the second and third floors and an addition was added onto the rear of the building to create another apartment and a secure entryway into the building for the apartment tenants.  Great efforts were taken to have the addition blend in with the original building and the neighboring buildings.  Complete restoration was done on the six over six windows to maintain the authenticity of the original appearance and complete removal and addition of a new updated electrical, heating and air conditioning was added to the building and each floor offers a laundry facility for the tenants.

A second purchase was of the Rinnova Building, 105-107 Elm Street built in 1898-1900.  The original YMCA building was erected in 1900 designed by Augustus W. Holton, local architect with the front façade of the three story building divided into three horizontal layers by continuous store bands. The ground floor features a commercial store front and the original entryway was recessed on the south end featuring a ceramic tiled sign YMCA (see picture attached) . The second floor has stone quoins at the corners and two bays of windows consisting of three each, with ornate pediments.  The third floor has five windows with stone lintels.  The bold Italianate style cornice has three sets of large paired brackets with smaller brackets in between.  In 1950 when the YMCA moved to its now home at 67 Court Street, the Rinnova Building became home to a commercial clothing business, Fine’s.  Note above the second story windows the dates are in stone carving 1898 and 1900.

Domus, Inc. began major construction to create a totally renovated a commercial and residential property.  A new entryway in the rear of the building was created and a second and third story addition was added to create seven apartment with one on the first floor that is  handicapped – accessible, and a secure entryway in the rear of the building. The commercial space at the front of the building is leased by Westfield State University as an art gallery and is a great addition to the revitalization of the Westfield Center Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.  Major efforts to restore the detailed woodwork was taken and you will see in the enclosed photos along with restoration of the original brickwork.  Each apartment beautifully recreated original molding details, the removal of the outside outdated fire escapes, and the installation of new double hung period authentic windows to the original front of the building has brought the beauty of this building paramount to Elm Street. A complete removal and installation of new electrical, heating, plumbing and a laundry facility on each floor have made this building a wonderful place for eight families to enjoy living in downtown.

The third building to complete the Elm Street Project is the Marcoullier Building, 168-172  Elm Street built in 1920 is the located on at the corner of Elm Street and Franklin Avenue ( Route 20),  and was erected in a style sympathetic to its older surroundings.  The heavy cornice is supported by a series of modillions.  The second floor windows are framed with brick segmented arches.  This commercial and residential property housed several businesses throughout the years and rooms were rented in a shelter or dormitory like environment, however a fire did serious damage to the interior and only minimum repairs were done to secure the building.

Domus, Inc. completed major repairs to this building as a result of the fire damage and through major restoration and revitalization brought back this beautiful cornerstone building back to downtown.  This building now offers commercial space to three businesses: Rock Locks Hair Salon,  Salon Cabellos, and DMA a clothing, shoe and accessories shop along with beautiful apartments to five families. A complete replacement of the electrical, plumbing and heating were done and laundry facilities are located on each floor.

 

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