Westfield pocket park almost complete

The area of the proposed pocket park for the Gaslight District. The park is circled in yellow (The Westfield News)

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The beautification and modification of the city’s Gaslight District downtown has another possible component.

Mark Cressotti, city engineer for Westfield, met with the Westfield Parks Commission last night to discuss the development of a “pocket park” on Church Street, behind The Hangar restaurant. The small park will use several refurbished items for decoration and would function as a possible outdoor area of rest and bistro-like location for future businesses. Development of the area has been underway, but the designation is yet to be done.

According to Cressotti, the park was initially a portion of off-street parking that was repurposed, with the city’s off-street parking commission giving the land to the Westfield City Council, where it currently awaits further action.

The parking that was lost in this was offset through other improvements in the area, Cressotti said.

Image of the Thayer fountain as seen in the “pocket park” located on Church St. in Westfield (WNG file photo)

The land has been beautified using several items from previous projects and areas within the city, as well as ornate stone walkways and design. Included in the area is a fountain that Cressotti said was from the Thayer home, which formerly stood where the current Big Y in Westfield is on South Broad St. The fountain, he said, is over 100 years old, and a photograph of it can be seen at the Westfield Athenaeum. The fountain will use recycled water.

“We repurposed it into quite the striking feature,” Cressotti said of the fountain. “It will be up and running this spring.”

Additional pieces that will be used from other projects also include the lights that are in the park, as well as granite that was previously from Shepard’s monument near the fire station on Broad St.

A decision on the park and its proper designation, including name, are still to be determined by the Westfield City Council, according to Cressotti.

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