The Dudley Park – Kimball Avenue Historic District of Westfield remain one of the most beautiful areas of the township. Between October 1864 and 1866, John Q. and Helen M. Dudley purchased approximately 70 acres of land roughly centered on what is today Dudley Avenue. The plan for “Dudley Park” consisted of parcelling lots for investment and development. While some lots were initially sold and had houses built on them, the 1873 depression halted development or several years. In 1892 the north side railroad station was built and the Central Railroad launched a publicity drive to lure even more New Yorkers to Westfield and surrounding suburbs, promising them a pleasant way of life with an easy commute to the city. . The successful campaign led to significant construction in the area through the turn of the century, and construction on the remaining lots in Dudley Park were completed.
Today, the Dudley Park district roughly follows the original development plan, with the inclusion of adjacent properties of similar age, style, and setting. The portion of the district along both sides of Kimball Avenue, between Lawrence Avenue and Elm Street, has been formally designated as the Kimball Avenue Historic District, the only official historical district in Westfield. Unlike so many other districts in Westfield, The Kimball Avenue Historic District maintains a huge collection of well-preserved, original structures of the period, with few house losses and with little structural change. Reflecting the growth of Westfield as a prestigious, suburban, railroad commuter community, several variations of turn of the century architectural styles can be identified.
Today, those same houses stand side by side, well maintained and picturesque, along tree-lined streets that still remind one of the opulent Victorian lifestyle. All of Dudley Park continues to reflect the social and economic prominence of the many executives and Westfield civic leaders who traditionally have called this area home, but with less opulent and more modest dwellings mixed in. It remains one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in all of Westfield.