Towers serve as city’s beacon


COM-City Column Westfield Towers

Commentary by Jim Ake

On April 25, 1896, the Indianapolis News ran a feature on page 12 designed to educate bicycle enthusiasts about the best routes from Indianapolis to Noblesville. Along their trip, “wheelmen” could expect to utilize everything from major roads – such as the Allisonville Pike – to gravel or dirt roads that would take them on scenic, “delightful riding” through “the best parts of Hamilton County.” Riders could expect to encounter “only one hill of any consequence” between Noblesville and Westfield, the latter of which the writer described as “a picturesque little village, scattered along the road for three-quarters of a mile.”

Once again, Westfield is making headlines as a destination for sporting enthusiasts.

Our community has a valuable history and a unique culture. Founded by Quakers, early Westfield inhabitants built a community that became integral to the success of the Underground Railroad. We have a tradition of educational excellence that far surpasses that of our regional neighbors, even to this day. And our ability to capitalize on the youth sports industry with Grand Park is simply one more way that Westfield continues to be a destination of choice for recreation-seekers of all ages.

Our city is a truly amazing place to live, and we should not be afraid to let our light shine.

The Westfield Towers is a project designed to create for visitors – and residents – a unique landmark with which they can identify. At night, the illuminated structures will serve as beacons for travelers, alerting adventurers from all over that there is something here not to be missed. For residents, the towers will be extraordinary monuments that represent the pride in our community’s past and its significance to the future of Indiana. As Peter Kagayama writes in his book For the Love of Cities, “It is the new, the different and the unexpected peppered in with the familiar that makes for the most interesting experiences.”

While we may have grown from simply being “a picturesque little village,” it is still possible for Westfield to hold on to our heritage while embracing the future. In order for our community to remain competitive in Hamilton County and the State of Indiana at large, we must be willing to think outside the box and invest in growth.

Jim Ake is an at-large member and president of the Westfield City Council. He can be reached at [email protected].