Stoneleigh Park, located between Westfield Avenue and Rahway Avenue, in south-central Westfield, is one of the town’s gems. It is a small, picturesque, upper middle class development dating from the turn of the early twentieth century. It was designed with the intention to take advantage of the pre-existing natural beauty provided by the area, with the hopes of attracting commuting New York executives and affluent Westfield businessmen and civic leaders looking for a peaceful, affluent spot to call home.
H.B. Tremaine, president of the Aeolian Company (which manufactured player pianos and organs), and his cousin, C.M. Tremaine, wee the planners and developers of the plot. The original neighborhood consisted of thirty single-family houses on approximately twenty acres of relatively circular drive through the park-like property. Two of them, one of which is still standing on Dorian Road, actually became the homes of the Tremaine cousin developers.
Most of Stoneleigh Park’s original Colonial-Revival style houses remain fairly true to the time of their construction in or about 1904. A second group of houses was constructed in the 1920’s, in both the Colonial Revival style and in the English Tudor style. A few more similar type houses were then constructed in the 1940’s-50’s. Most of the houses are of roughly the same size and scale as the original group, although others are slightly smaller in scale and show more signs of the later periods in which they were constructed.
Twin brick posts topped with concrete ball finials flank the roadway that mark the entrance to Stoneleigh Park. Each post also has a large, octagonal, iron lantern with an “S” (for Stoneleigh), and the iron rings for the chains which used to occasionally close off the entrance can still be seen. At one time here was a second entrance at the opposite end of the park, but that was closed in 1983 to discourage through traffic which might disrupt the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. In an effort to create a park setting that all residents could enjoy, the lots are irregularly shaped and fairly large, in an attempt to accentuate the park-like atmosphere. The neighborhood is adorned with quaint carriage-type lamps on simple wooden posts, beautiful landscaping with an abundance of shrubs and trees, and all underground wiring . . . . all of which help to maintain that “park-like” feel.
The original section of the Stoneleigh Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. It remains today a peaceful, park-like, beautifully landscaped and maintained neighborhood. The Tremaine cousins would undoubtedly be delighted to see their vision come to fruition . . . . and stay that way throughout the test of time.