Category Archives: Neighborhood Video News

Cranford NJ History For Sale!

It’s probably one of the most eye-catching and hard to miss buildings in town.  Directly across from the Cranford train station, it looks like a piece of architectural candy with light purple walls accented with bright yellow trim. The Artist Framer carries frames in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and textures. It also carries art from a variety of artists, and offers custom and do-it-yourself framing.  They can happily assist with any framing job put before them.  (See my video interview with owner Stephanie Lalor here… An Interview with The Artist Framers)

And now everyone can go to the Artist Framer and own a (reproduced) piece of Cranford’s history!  In 2010, the old Roosevelt School on Orange Avenue was demolished.  As the process was taking place, workers discovered some wonderful animal tiles covered with paint surrounding what had been the kindergarten room.  The HPAB (Historical Preservation Advisory Board of Cranford) saved the tiles, and has reproduced six of the designs on 6X6 inch trivet tiles – a mountain goat, a bear, a rabbit, a parrot, a snail, and a donkey.  On Sunday, June 24, these reproductions can be puchased at the Artist Framer at 17 North Avenue East .  The price is $15 each, or $25 for 2.   Proceeds from the sales will go to help fund Cranford HPAB projects including a remake of the 1989 video “Tour Through Cranford’s Historic Architecture”, publishing self-guided walking tours of Cranford’s historic sites.  Sales will also help fund the potential placement of the Roosevelt School fireplace in the Community Center.  How cool would these be as a functional conversation starter in your home?

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Custom Made Suits and Shirts in Westfield NJ

I recently had the opportunity to meet John Robert and learn more about his unique small business, John Robert Custom Suits and Shirts,  in Downtown Westfield. John Robert’s shop offers custom-made, high-quality shirts, sport coats and suits. All products made from fine Swiss, English, Italian and French fabrics and John Robert spends extensive time with his clients to ensure a custom fit.

John spoke with me about his classic approach to his business. All orders are carefully measures, hand cut and adjusted. All sleeves, collars, linings and buttonholes are hand sewn, and classic horn buttons are used. The fabrics at Jon Robert are exquisite: the highest quality 2×2 worsted wool that is timeless and made to last. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with this interesting man learning about his business!


Located at 31 E. Broad St  908-232-9511

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Neighborhood News Episode 5 – The Cranford Hotel, Cranford NJ

The Cranford Hotel, as seen today, bears strong resemblance to it’s earliest days.  Built in 1893 by the Hess family, it’s convenience to the railroad tracks made it a popular stop for businessmen.  In 1946, the hotel was sold to the DiTullio family and remained in use as a hotel until the early ’70’s.   It’s ambiance endures today in the form of one of Cranford NJ’s favorite restaurant and meeting place that offers something for everyone.

 The upstairs has a large bar with a separate dining area, including The Porch.  Downstairs, the Cellar serves as a more lively bar, which also has a separate dining area with a cozy fireplace.  It is a great place to catch a game, gather with family and friends, and is available for private parties.  One of the the more recent changes to the Hotel has been the addition of it’s popular outdoor dining area which has a covered awning, and is open as weather permits. The menu features an extensive beer list, burgers and sandwiches, filet mignon, daily specials, and a new Sunday Roast every week.

The most recent change to the Hotel is the addition of a new managing partner, Dave Carracino. Dave is a Culinary Institute Graduate with over 20 years of restaurant experience.   Working together with  longtime owner Frank DiTullio and the well known staff at the Hotel, he adds a fresh perspective to the well established restaurant.   Open 7 days a week for lunch, dinner, and cocktails, this downtown landmark continues to grow and serve the Cranford community.

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Neighborhood News Episode 4 – The Artist’s Framers Cranford NJ

Stephanie Lalor opened her shop, The Artist Framers, in downtown Cranford almost 13 years ago. From the first moment she entered the historic building, she knew that this was the place for her to open her business. The interesting history and architectural details of the building are fascinating, it once functioned as a stage house for the train station.The shop is easy to spot with it’s bright and cheery purple and yellow exterior, and it’s location, directly across from the train station makes it convenient to visit.  The Artist Framer carries frames in a wide variety of styles and textures. Bring in any item that you’d like to have framed, and Stephanie and her staff can show you virtual choices to help find the perfect frame for your treasured item. The Artist Framers also carries art from such artists as Linnea W. Rhodes, who does landscapes, and Cynthia Dawley, a famous local artist.

Visit The Artist Framers at 17 North Ave East in Downtown Cranford or call 908-931-1133

Open Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm
Thursday 10am – 7pm
Saturday 10am – 5pm
Closed on Sunday
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Neighborhood News Episode 3 – I.Designs – Interior Design in Cranford NJ


Established in 1998, I.Designs, LLC is a full-service interior design firm in Cranford, NJ specializing in distinctive interiors capturing your lifestyle. With projects ranging from residential renovations and new construction to commercial historical restoration of Broadway theaters and area churches, I.Designs partners with clients to produce interiors that synergize style and function.

Creatively directed by accomplished interior designer Irene Reilly, the vision the company brings to a project helps their clients express their individuality with warmth and style.  “Visually integrating exterior and interior architecture elements where possible results in spaces feeling naturally evolved and interesting. It gives you a sense of harmony and place,” comments Reilly.

Using a team of skilled crafts and tradespeople, I.Designs, LLC can ensure every attention to detail is made during the implementation of your upcoming projects.  Our services include:  space planning, color consultation, selection and specification of finishes and fixtures, lighting, furniture, window treatments, and accessories.

I.Designs, LLC work was recently featured by Grange Furniture and Veranda magazine.  It was also the recipient of the 2011 Cranford Historical Society Award for work on the restoration of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Cranford.

For more information please can contact Irene Reilly at:

I.Designs, LLC (908) 931-1198 or via email @ [email protected]

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