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Firm using technology to recapture iconic cake

WESTFIELD-A replica of the iconic birthday cake from the city’s 1969 300th celebration is in its final design phase in Justin White’s office at Westek Architectural Woodworking, Inc.

After a recent brainstorming meeting with Harry Rock, president of the Friends of the Westfield 350th, Bruce Scheible, Westek’s owner, knew he wanted his company to be a part of the volunteer effort that is creating a sense of community in all aspects of the celebration.

Bruce Scheible, owner of Westek Architectural Woodworking, Inc., on left, reviews the drawings for the Westfield 350th birthday cake with project manager Justin White.

“We like to help out when we can,” said Scheible, adding, “the cake is a fun project and we knew we had to be a part of it.”

While Scheible grew up in Westfield, he said he doesn’t have a recollection of the birthday cake that graced the fountain area of the Park Green during the 300th celebration.

Both Scheible and White have examined old photographs of the original birthday cake to ensure that all of the intricate details will be recaptured. The original cake was 10 feet high, 19 feet in diameter and featured 300 lamps. White is serving as project manager on the cake endeavor.

“When you see the cake it will be a flashback to the original one,” said White.

Materials to build the cake will include pressure treated yellow pine timbers sheathed in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in contrast to the wood that was used in 1969 by employees of Westfield Woodworking. PVC is a strong but lightweight plastic used in construction.

“We have to ensure that the cake will be able to sustain wind, rain, ice and snow,” said Scheible, noting that the cake will be prominently displayed at Park Square by mid-December.

During the past few weeks, field measurements around the park fountain have been taken for the 10′ tall, five-tier cake which will feature 350 LED lights for the candles, handprinted carnations by Scheible’s daughter, Allison Charter, blue ribbons, and, of course, a topper.

Using the latest software technology, White has been designing the 350th cake while also being surrounded by computer screens featuring photos of the original birthday cake and the old and new fountain areas.

Once the men have agreed on the final CAD drawings, CNC (computer numerical control) machining equipment will be used for the sections and Scheible expects it will take three weeks to fabricate the cake with two employees working full-time.

“I’m really excited to be a part of something that people know and recognize,” said White, adding, “and will remember 50 years from now.”

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