Bridgeport, Connecticut

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City of Bridgeport
City
Bridgeport
Bridgeport
Flag of City of Bridgeport
Flag
Official seal of City of Bridgeport
Seal
Nickname(s): The Park City, The Port, B-Port, BPT
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°11′11″N 73°11′44″W / 41.18639°N 73.19556°W / 41.18639; -73.19556Coordinates: 41°11′11″N 73°11′44″W / 41.18639°N 73.19556°W / 41.18639; -73.19556
CountryUnited States
StateConnecticut
CountyFairfield
NECTABridgeport-Stamford
RegionGreater Bridgeport
Incorporated (town)1821
Incorporated (city)1836
Government
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorBill Finch
Area
 • City19.4 sq mi (50.2 km2)
 • Land16.0 sq mi (41.4 km2)
 • Water3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2)
 • Urban9,014.3 sq mi (3,843.8 km2)
Elevation3 ft (1 m)
Population (2012)[1]
 • City146,425 (US: 169th)
 • Density8,720.9/sq mi (3,354/km2)
 • Metro925,899 (US: 56th)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code06601, 06602, 06604, 06605, 06606, 06607, 06608, 06610, 06650, 06673, 06699[2]
Area code(s)203/475
FIPS code09-08000
GNIS feature ID0205720
Websitewww.bridgeportct.gov
 
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City of Bridgeport
City
Bridgeport
Bridgeport
Flag of City of Bridgeport
Flag
Official seal of City of Bridgeport
Seal
Nickname(s): The Park City, The Port, B-Port, BPT
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°11′11″N 73°11′44″W / 41.18639°N 73.19556°W / 41.18639; -73.19556Coordinates: 41°11′11″N 73°11′44″W / 41.18639°N 73.19556°W / 41.18639; -73.19556
CountryUnited States
StateConnecticut
CountyFairfield
NECTABridgeport-Stamford
RegionGreater Bridgeport
Incorporated (town)1821
Incorporated (city)1836
Government
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorBill Finch
Area
 • City19.4 sq mi (50.2 km2)
 • Land16.0 sq mi (41.4 km2)
 • Water3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2)
 • Urban9,014.3 sq mi (3,843.8 km2)
Elevation3 ft (1 m)
Population (2012)[1]
 • City146,425 (US: 169th)
 • Density8,720.9/sq mi (3,354/km2)
 • Metro925,899 (US: 56th)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code06601, 06602, 06604, 06605, 06606, 06607, 06608, 06610, 06650, 06673, 06699[2]
Area code(s)203/475
FIPS code09-08000
GNIS feature ID0205720
Websitewww.bridgeportct.gov

Bridgeport is the most populous city in Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County on the Pequonnock River and Long Island Sound, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census[1] and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area. The city is part of the Greater New York City Combined Statistical Area. It is the fifth-largest city in New England (behind Boston, Worcester, Providence and Springfield.) Bridgeport is the center of the 48th-largest urban area in the United States, just behind Hartford (47th). Most of Bridgeport was originally a part of the township of Stratford.

English colonists began settling along the Pequonnock River after 1639, quickly buying land from the Paugussett tribe or otherwise divesting them of it. The settlement became a center of trade, shipbuilding, and whaling. In the mid-19th century, the village rapidly industrialized, attracting immigrants to the growing number of factory jobs. Industry stayed strong until after World War II. Industrial restructuring and suburbanization caused the loss of many jobs and affluent residents, leaving Bridgeport struggling with problems of poverty. In the 21st century, conversion of office buildings to residential, and other redevelopment is attracting new residents.

The circus-promoter and former mayor, P.T. Barnum, was a famous resident of the city. Barnum built three houses there, and housed his circus in town during winters. The first Subway restaurant opened in the North End section of the city in 1965.[3] The Frisbie Pie Company was located here, and Bridgeport is credited as the birthplace of the Frisbee.[4]

History[edit]

The first English settlement on the west bank of the mouth of the Pequonnock River was made somewhere between 1639 and 1665 and was called Pequonnock, after the name of the Native American people, a sub-tribe of the Paugussett, who had historically occupied this area. One of their sacred sites was Golden Hill, the center of springs and planting fields, now within downtown Bridgeport.[5][6] The village was renamed Newfield sometime before 1777.[7]

More people settled further inland and to the West and the area officially became known as Stratfield in 1701, likely due to its location between the already existing towns of Stratford and Fairfield.[8] During the American Revolution, Bridgeport and its harbor were a center of privateering.[6] In 1800, Newfield village was chartered as the borough of Bridgeport, and in 1821 the township of Bridgeport, including more of Stratfield, was incorporated. Bridgeport was chartered as a city in 1836.[9]

Early years[edit]

Bridgeport's early years were marked by residents' reliance on fishing and farming, similar to the society of the Native American Paugassett. They had cultivated corn, beans and squash, and fished from both the river and sound. The city's location on the deep Newfield Harbor fostered a boom in shipbuilding and whaling in the mid-19th century, especially after the opening of a railroad to the city in 1840.[10][11]

The city rapidly industrialized in the late 19th century, when it became a manufacturing center. It produced such goods as the famous Bridgeport milling machine, brass fittings, carriages, sewing machines, brassieres, saddles, and ammunition.[12] Bridgeport annexed the village of Black Rock and its busy harbor in 1870.[13]

Eastern View of Bridgeport, Con. by John Warner Barber (1836)

Presidential visits[edit]

On Saturday, March 10, 1860, Abraham Lincoln spoke in the city's Washington Hall, an auditorium at the old Bridgeport City Hall (now McLevy Hall), at the corner of State and Broad streets. The largest room in the city was packed, and a crowd formed outside as well. Lincoln received a standing ovation before taking the 9:07 p.m. train that night back to Manhattan.[14][15] A plaque marks the site where Lincoln spoke; later that year, he was elected president. Other notables who have given speeches in Bridgeport include the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who spoke three times at the Klein Auditorium during the 1960s; President George W. Bush spoke before a small group of Connecticut business people and officials at the Playhouse on the Green in 2006;[16] and President Barack Obama spoke at the Harbor Yard arena in 2010 to gain support for the campaign of Democratic Governor Dan Malloy.[17]

Industrialization and labor history[edit]

Industrialization was underway by the mid-19th century. Famous factories included Wheeler & Wilson, which produced sewing machines and exported them throughout the world, and the Locomobile Company of America, builder of one of the premier automobiles in the early years of the century.[18]

In the summer of 1915, amid increased labor demand as men were drafted for World War I, workers in Bridgeport called a series of strikes demanding the eight-hour day. They were so successful that the strikes and the eight-hour day spread throughout the Northeast.[19]

By 1930, Bridgeport was a thriving industrial center with more than 500 factories. Since the late 19th century, its industrial jobs had attracted the most recent immigrants: Irish, Italians and Eastern Europeans. The build-up to World War II further helped its industries.[20]

Columbia Records' primary pressing plant was located in Bridgeport. It manufactured the Columbia OKeh (after 1926), as well as their dime-store labels (Harmony, Velvet Tone, Diva and Clarion).

Deindustrialization[edit]

Restructuring of heavy industry starting after the mid-20th century caused the loss of thousands of jobs and residents. Like other urban centers in Connecticut, Bridgeport suffered during the deindustrialization of the United States in the 1970s and 1980s.[21] Continued development of new suburban housing attracted middle and upper-class residents, leaving the city with a higher proportion of poor. The city suffered from overall mismanagement, for which several city officials were convicted, contributing to the economic and social decline.[22]

In September 1978, Bridgeport teachers went on a 19-day strike due to deadlocked contract negotiations. A court order, as well as a state law that made strikes by public workers illegal in Connecticut, resulted in 274 teachers being arrested and jailed.[23]

A portion of the harbor in Bridgeport. Facilities shown are part of the United Illuminating coal-fired power plant

Like other northeastern cities suffering from the effects of post-World War II industrial decline, Bridgeport made numerous efforts at revitalization. In one proposal Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn was to build a large casino, but that project failed to be implemented. In 1991, the city filed for bankruptcy protection but was declared solvent by a federal court.[24]

Twenty-first century[edit]

In the early 21st century, Bridgeport has taken steps toward redevelopment of its downtown and other neighborhoods. In 2004, artists' lofts were developed in the former Read's Department Store on Broad Street. Several other rental conversions have been completed, including the 117-unit Citytrust bank building on Main Street. The recession has halted, at least temporarily, two major mixed-use projects including a $1 billion waterfront development at Steel Point, but other redevelopment projects have proceeded, such as the condominium conversion project in Bijou Square.[25] In 2009, the City Council approved a new master plan for development, designed both to promote redevelopment in selected areas and to protect existing residential neighborhoods.[26] In 2010, the Bridgeport Housing Authority and a local health center announced plans to build a $20 million medical and housing complex at Albion Street, making use of federal stimulus funds and designed to replace some of the housing lost with the demolition of Father Panik Village.[27]

Emergency services[edit]

Emergency Medical Services[edit]

EMS is provide by American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc - Fairfield County Operations Division. Paramedic and EMT level ambulance service transport service are provided in conjunction with the Bridgeport Fire Department.

Fire department[edit]

The Bridgeport Fire Department provides fire suppression, prevention, education, investigation, and first responder basic life support emergency medical services to the city of Bridgeport.

Law enforcement[edit]

Five law enforcement agencies serve Bridgeport: two are at the city level, one at the county level, and two at the state level.

City level:

County level:

State level:

Medical care[edit]

The community has two hospitals, Bridgeport Hospital and St. Vincent's Medical Center. The former Park City Hospital closed in 1993 and was reopened in 2010 as elderly and homeless housing units.[28] Emergency medical services are provided by American Medical Response at the paramedic level.

Animal control[edit]

Located for many years at 525 Asylum Street, in 2008 Bridgeport Animal Control moved to 236 Evergreen Street. This location was the previous housing quarters for the Shoreline Star Greyhounds and once housed over 800 dogs. The animal control facility is the largest in the state of Connecticut, handling more than 1500 to 2000 animals yearly. The new facilities consist of three buildings: one for administration and two for animal holding. One serves for quarantine for the seven-day holding period, and the second is the adoption building. The new shelter can house up to 80 dogs and 25 cats. The largest breed of dog the shelter deals with is the pit bull. The BAC does not pick up cats or wildlife unless they are sick or injured.[29]

Geography and climate[edit]

Bridgeport is located along Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Pequonnock River, named for the Native American tribe who historically lived along it.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.4 square miles (50 km2), of which 16.0 square miles (41 km2) is land and 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), or 17.53%, is water.

Bridgeport lies within the transition zone between a humid subtropical and a humid continental (Köppen Cfa/Dfa). The coastal location of Bridgeport on Long Island Sound result in Bridgeport being several degrees cooler in summer and milder with less snowfall in winter than locations further away from the coast. Bridgeport is a relatively sunny climate, averaging more than 2400 hours of sunshine annually.

In summer, hot and often sultry tropical weather conditions can be typical, with high temperatures in the 80s and occasionally in the 90s F. Brief, but intense late day thunderstorms are common in the hottest months. Fall and spring months are cool to warm with high temperatures from 50 to 70 F. The winter months have daily high temperatures in the upper 30s F and overnight lows in the mid 20s F. Winters in Bridgeport are modest, with a mix of rain and snow, though in some years Bridgeport can receive heavy snow. The city receives 42.8 inches (1,090 mm) of precipitation and 30 inches (76 cm) of snowfall in an average year.

With a period of record only dating back to 1948, Bridgeport's highest temperature is 103 °F (39 °C) on July 22 in 1957 and 2011, while the lowest temperature is −7 °F (−22 °C) on January 22, 1984. Several hurricanes have impacted Bridgeport, including one in 1938.

Climate data for Bridgeport, Connecticut (Sikorsky Airport), 1981–2010 normals
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)68
(20)
67
(19)
84
(29)
91
(33)
97
(36)
97
(36)
103
(39)
100
(38)
99
(37)
89
(32)
78
(26)
76
(24)
103
(39)
Average high °F (°C)37.1
(2.8)
39.7
(4.3)
47.2
(8.4)
57.6
(14.2)
67.6
(19.8)
77.0
(25)
82.1
(27.8)
80.8
(27.1)
74.0
(23.3)
63.2
(17.3)
53.1
(11.7)
42.3
(5.7)
60.1
(15.6)
Average low °F (°C)23.1
(−4.9)
25.2
(−3.8)
31.4
(−0.3)
41.0
(5)
50.5
(10.3)
60.2
(15.7)
66.3
(19.1)
65.6
(18.7)
58.0
(14.4)
46.4
(8)
37.9
(3.3)
28.4
(−2)
44.5
(6.9)
Record low °F (°C)−7
(−22)
−5
(−21)
4
(−16)
18
(−8)
31
(−1)
41
(5)
49
(9)
44
(7)
36
(2)
26
(−3)
16
(−9)
−4
(−20)
−7
(−22)
Precipitation inches (mm)3.10
(78.7)
2.79
(70.9)
4.04
(102.6)
4.13
(104.9)
3.80
(96.5)
3.64
(92.5)
3.46
(87.9)
3.96
(100.6)
3.48
(88.4)
3.64
(92.5)
3.39
(86.1)
3.33
(84.6)
42.75
(1,085.9)
Snowfall inches (cm)9.2
(23.4)
8.2
(20.8)
5.4
(13.7)
.9
(2.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
.7
(1.8)
5.5
(14)
30.0
(76.2)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch)10.99.711.311.011.811.18.98.98.28.810.011.1121.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch)5.03.62.4.3000000.53.115.0
Source: NOAA[30]
1912 postcard showing Main Street in Bridgeport

Cityscape[edit]

The Bridgeport Harbor is bordered by Long Island Sound and is formed by the estuary of the Pequonnock River and Yellow Mill Pond, an inlet. Between the estuary and the pond is a peninsula, East Bridgeport, also known as the East Side, which was once the site of some of the largest manufacturing establishments in Connecticut, most of which no longer exist. On the other side of the Yellow Mill Pond inlet is the East End of Bridgeport, which is the far Eastern point of the city, next to Pleasure Beach Island. Above the East End are the Mill Hill and Boston Avenue neighborhoods and the border with Stratford, Connecticut. West of the Harbor and the Pequonnock River is the main portion of the city, with Downtown Bridgeport lining the river, the South End lining the harbor and Long Island Sound, the West Side between Fairfield, Connecticut and Downtown, and North Bridgeport extending from Downtown and the West Side to the border with Trumbull, Connecticut. Numerous factories, some of which are no longer in operation, line western sections the Metro North/New Haven Railroad line from the Bridgeport Station in Downtown, under Interstate 95 in the South End, and through the West Side and into Fairfield. The city is surrounded by hills in North Bridgeport/North End, the Upper East Side, and Mill Hill.

The main portion of the city is divided into three major North/South roads that somewhat parallel each other. Main Street, the city's main artery, extending from the Trumbull town line, down through North Bridgeport, under Route 25 and into Downtown, ending at the Harbor Yard Arena in the South End. Park Avenue is the far western main road that is on the borderline with the town of Fairfield and extends from the Easton, Connecticut border in the North End to the South End at Seaside Park. Madison Avenue is situated parallel between Main Street and Park Avenue that extends from the Trumbull town line in the North End and continues through the West Side. East Main Street is the major North/South road through East Bridgeport, extending from the Trumbull/Stratford line though the East Side, ending near Steel Point. The major East/West roads in the city are Barnum Avenue, Boston Avenue, Fairfield Avenue/Stratford Avenue, North Avenue, Capitol Avenue, State Street, and Railroad Avenue. Barnum Avenue extends from the Stratford line, below Mill Hill, and ends at the Pequonnock River. Boston Avenue breaks off of Barnum Avenue at the Stratford line and goes Northwest through the Upper East Side into the North End. Stratford Avenue starts in the South End of the town of Stratford and travels Southwest into Bridgeport, where it briefly becomes Connecticut Avenue in the city's East End. It then travels East through Steel Point directly into the center of Downtown Bridgeport, where it turns into Fairfield Avenue at Main Street. Fairfield Avenue then travels South and then Southwest through the West Side and down into Black Rock, where it turns into the Boston Post Road, or simply, the Post Road, in Fairfield, Connecticut. North Avenue begins at Boston Avenue in the Upper East Side above the Pequonnock River and extends Southwest diagonally through the city as Route 1. It then turns into Kings Highway in Fairfield. Capitol Avenue begins by breaking off of North Avenue at Island Brook Avenue Ext. and travels West across the Madison and Brooklawn neighborhoods near North Bridgeport and ends at the Fairfield line. State Street begins in Downtown and cuts across the West Side, where it terminates in Fairfield. Railroad Avenue extends from just below Downtown Bridgeport and runs parallel with the Metro North/New Haven Railroad lines. The Westbound side above the tracks, and the Eastbound side below the tracks. It terminates at Fairfield Avenue in the West Side.

There are two large parks in Bridgeport, the Park City. Beardsley is in the extreme northeastern part of the city and also contains Connecticut's only zoo, the Beardsley Zoo. It also borders a large reservoir. Seaside is west of the harbor entrance and along the Sound in the South End. It has statues in honor of Elias Howe, who built a large sewing-machine factory in 1863; and of P.T. Barnum, the showman, who lived in Bridgeport after 1846. He contributed much to the city, especially East Bridgeport. Seaside Park also has a soldiers' and sailors' monument. In the vicinity are many upscale residences.

Aside from the Pequonnock River and the Yellow Mill Pond, there is Cedar Creek. Cedar Creek is a lake-like tidal creek that lies between Black Rock and Seaside Park. Black Rock Harbor lies at the mouth of the creek.[31]

The principal municipal buildings in Bridgeport are the city's two hospitals (St. Vincent's Medical Center and Bridgeport Hospital), the Protestant orphan asylum, the Barnum Institute (occupied by the Bridgeport Scientific and Historical Society), the Bridgeport Medical Society, City Hall, the Fairfield County Courthouse, the Barnum Museum, and the United States Customs House, which also contains a post office.

Historical postcard showing Bridgeport Harbor
1941 postcard showing Fairfield County Courthouse in Bridgeport

Neighborhoods[edit]

Bridgeport is made up of approximately 70 distinct neighborhoods and districts.

Islands[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.
18403,294
18506,08084.6%
186012,10699.1%
187018,96956.7%
188027,64345.7%
189048,86676.8%
190070,99645.3%
1910102,05443.7%
1920143,55540.7%
1930146,7162.2%
1940147,1210.3%
1950158,7097.9%
1960156,748−1.2%
1970156,542−0.1%
1980142,546−8.9%
1990141,686−0.6%
2000139,529−1.5%
2010144,2293.4%
Est. 2012146,4251.5%
Population 1840–1970[1][32][33]

As of the census of 2000, there were 139,529 people, 50,307 households, and 32,749 families residing in the city. The population density was 8,720.9 people per square mile (3,367.0/km²). There were 54,367 housing units at an average density of 3,398.1 per square mile (1,312.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.0% White, 30.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 14.8% from other races, and 5.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.8% of the population. Other ancestry groups include: Italian (8.6%), Irish (5.1%), Portuguese (2.9%), Polish (2.8%), and German (2.4%).[34]

As of the 2010 census, there were 144,229 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city residents was 39.6% White; 34.6% Black or African American; 3.4% Asian; and 4.3% from two or more races. A total of 38.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[35] Non-Hispanic Whites were 22.7% of the population in 2010,[35] compared to 74.6% in 1970.[36]

A typical street scene in Bridgeport

There were 50,307 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.0% were married couples living together, 24.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.34.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,658, and the median income for a family was $39,571. Males had a median income of $32,430 versus $26,966 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,306. About 16.2% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.8% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over. Since 1849, FSWINC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization has provided care for individuals living in difficult socioeconomic situations in both Bridgeport and Fairfield.[37][38]

According to 2010 census data, the Bridgeport MSA, containing all of Fairfield County, is the most unequal region in America.[39][40]

Economy[edit]

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[41] the top employers in the city are:

Employer# of Employees
St. Vincent's Medical Center3,000
Bridgeport Hospital2,622
People's United Bank1,179
University of Bridgeport875
Bridgeport Health Care Center500
Housatonic Community College482
Prime Line310
Derecktor Shipyards300
Lacey Manufacturing275
Watermark Retirement Communities165

Education[edit]

Higher education[edit]

Bridgeport is home to Housatonic Community College, St. Vincent's College, University of Bridgeport and the Yeshiva Gedola of Bridgeport. The Yeshiva Gedola is currently the home of the Bridgeport Community Kollel, a rabbinic fellowship program.[42]

Public education[edit]

The city's public school system has 30 elementary schools, three comprehensive high schools, two alternative programs and an interdistrict vocational aquaculture school. The system has about 20,800 students, making the Bridgeport Public Schools the second largest school system in Connecticut after Hartford. It is ranked #158 out of the 164 Connecticut school districts.[43] The school system employs a professional staff of more than 1,700.

The city has started a large school renovation and construction program, with plans for new schools and modernization of existing buildings.

Public high schools

Private education[edit]

Bridgeport is also home to religious schools and private schools, including Bridgeport International Academy (grades 9-12), Bridgeport Hope School (K-8), Bridgeport International Academy (9–12), Kolbe Cathedral High School (9-12), Zion Lutheran School (PK-8), St. Andrew School (PK-8), St. Ann Academy (PK-8) and Catholic Academies of Bridgeport (St. Augustine School (PK-8) and St. Raphael School (PK-8)).

Government and politics[edit]

The city is governed by the mayor council system. There are twenty members of the city council elected from districts. Each district elects two members. The mayor is elected by the entire city.

Bridgeport is notable for having had a Socialist mayor for 24 years; Jasper McLevy served as mayor from 1933 to 1957. A more recent mayor, Joseph Ganim, was involved in a corruption scandal, as has been the case with some other mayors in Connecticut.[44] In June 2006, Mayor John M. Fabrizi admitted that he had used cocaine while in office.[45]

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 25, 2005[46]
PartyActive votersInactive votersTotal votersPercentage
 Republican5,0694685,537
 Democratic33,3742,85536,229
 Unaffiliated18,5381,88720,425
 Minor parties27330
Total57,0085,21362,221100%

Taxes[edit]

In 2005, the mill rate for Bridgeport was 42.28[47] and is reportedly 41.855 for fiscal year 2013-2014.[48]

Culture[edit]

Performing arts[edit]

Theater and music[edit]

Bridgeport has a number of venues for live theater and music events, ranging from intimate performing spaces to a stadium hosting rock concerts.[49]

Music festivals and concert series[edit]

Bridgeport has been the annual home to Gathering of the Vibes, a weekend long arts, music and camping festival featuring some of the best names in festival talent. In 1999, 2000, and 2007 through 2010, thousands of people have come from all over the world to camp in Seaside Park and enjoy such talent as Buddy Guy, Bob Weir and Ratdog, Deep Banana Blackout, Les Claypool, Assembly of Dust, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Los Lobos and Bridgeport's own The Alternate Routes.

Since 1945, the Greater Bridgeport Symphony has been a cultural and musical gem for the City of Bridgeport and its surrounding towns, performing at the 1,400 seat Klein Memorial Auditorium. The orchestra has a rich and vibrant history. Under the direction of Gustav Meier for the past 41 years, the prestigious orchestra has welcomed international soloists Beverly Sills, Midori, Benny Goodman, Itzhak Perlman with other links to legends like Leonard Bernstein, Jose Iturbi. Through its annual Carlson-Horn Competition for Young Instrumentalist created many new bright professional soloists including Andrew Armstrong, Alexander Markov, Anita Chen, to name just a few.

Bridgeport is also the home of the Black Rock Art Center, a multi-cultural center that presents performing artists from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Americas both at the Art Center and also in a Summer Sounds of the World concert series. The series has featured such artists as blues musician James Cotton, Grammy-award winner Eddie Palmieri, the Cambodian Angkor Dance Company, salsa master Larry Harlow, and folk artists Richie Havens and Odetta. The Art Center features a world music series, a cabaret series, the Black Rock Blues Festival, in addition to cinema, gallery, and educational programs.

Museums, zoos and parks[edit]

Theater and music[edit]

Bridgeport has a number of museums, ranging from the science-oriented to fine arts and historical, as well as the state's largest zoo.[49]

Parks[edit]

Bridgeport's first public park was the 4-acre (16,000 m2) Washington Park in East Bridgeport, first set aside as a park in 1851.[50] As the city rapidly grew in population, residents recognized the need for more public parks and by 1864, Barnum and other residents had donated approximately 35 acres (140,000 m2) to create Seaside Park, now increased to 375 acres (1.52 km2).[51] In 1878, over 100 acres (400,000 m2) of land bordering the Pequonnock River was added as Beardsley Park.[52] Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for creating New York City's Central Park, designed both Seaside and Beardsley Parks.[53] Over time, more parks were added including 35-acre (140,000 m2) Beechwood Park and Pleasure Beach, home to a popular amusement park for many years.

The "Park City" now has these parks:

In popular culture[edit]

Movies filmed in Bridgeport[edit]

A list of films shot or partially filmed in the city:[61]

Television produced in Bridgeport[edit]

Sports[edit]

ClubLeagueVenueEstablishedChampionships
Bridgeport BluefishALPB, BaseballThe Ballpark at Harbor Yard19981
Bridgeport Sound TigersAHL, Ice hockeyArena at Harbor Yard20010

The recently built Arena at Harbor Yard serves as the city's sports and hospitality center. Seating 10,000, the Arena serves as the home rink of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL hockey team, as well as the home court of the Fairfield University's basketball team.

The Ballpark at Harbor Yard serves as a minor-league baseball stadium, and was built in 1998 to serve as the homefield of the Bridgeport Bluefish. It is located downtown on a former brownfield site. It is visually prominent to commuters on I-95 or on passing trains.

Kennedy Stadium serves as a community sports facility. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was the home of an Atlantic Coast Football League minor league football team, the Bridgeport Jets, a New York Jets farm team also known locally as the Hi-Ho Jets due to their sponsorship by the (Hi-Ho) D'Addario construction company.

Fairfield University is located in the neighboring town of Fairfield, and many of the athletic teams play on campus. Only the men's and women's basketball teams play in Bridgeport.

Nutmeg Curling Club, one of two curling clubs in Connecticut, is located in Bridgeport. It is the home club of the 2013 USA Mixed National Champions,[62] led by club members Derek Surka and Charissa Lin. The club is a member of the Grand National Curling Club Region.

Media[edit]

Radio[edit]

Due to Bridgeport's close proximity to Long Island Sound, many radio stations from New York are received clearly day and night in the market. These include WMCA, WFAN, WOR, WABC, WNYC, WCBS, WEPN, and WQEW.[65]

Newspapers[edit]

Television[edit]

Bridgeport was NBC's pioneer UHF TV test site from December 29, 1949 to August 23, 1952;[66] the equipment from the "Operation Bridgeport" tests was later deployed commercially at KPTV in Portland, Oregon (1952-1957). While Bridgeport is primarily served by New York City stations, some local UHF broadcasters operate today:

Transportation[edit]

Airports[edit]

Nearby Sikorsky Memorial Airport once provided regional flights to major hub cities such as Logan International Airport in Boston and Baltimore-Washington International Airport; however, service to the airport declined in the 1990s, and US Airways Express became the last airline to suspend operations at the airport in November 1999. Tweed New Haven Regional Airport is another nearby facility that provides scheduled air service. The closest international airports are Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy in New York City and Newark in Newark, New Jersey.

Major highways[edit]

Bridgeport has several major roadways. Interstate 95 and the Route 8/Route 25 Connector meet in downtown Bridgeport. I-95 runs east-west near the coast heading towards New York City to the southwest and Providence to the northeast. Routes 8 and 25 run north-south across the city, with the two routes splitting just north of the city. Route 8 continues towards Waterbury and Torrington and Route 25 continues towards the Danbury area. Both Routes 8 and 25 connect to the Merritt Parkway in the adjacent town of Trumbull.

Other major surface arteries are U.S. 1 (the Boston Post Road), which runs east-west north of downtown, and Main Street, which runs north-south towards Trumbull center. The city also has several secondary state highways, namely, Route 127 (East Main Street), Route 130 (Connecticut Ave, Stratford Ave, Fairfield Ave and Water Street), and the Huntington Turnpike.

Railroad and ferries[edit]

The Bridgeport Station is part of an intermodal transit hub

The Bridgeport Traction Company provided streetcar service in the region until 1937.

The city is connected to nearby New York City by both Amtrak and Metro-North commuter trains, which serve Bridgeport's Metro-North station. Many residents commute to New York jobs on these trains, and the city to some extent is developing as an outpost of New York–based workers seeking cheaper rents and larger living spaces. Connecting service is also available to Waterbury via Metro-North, and New Haven via Amtrak and Metro-North. Shoreline East service links Old Saybrook and New London with New Haven, which extends to Bridgeport and Stamford during weekday rush hours only.

The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry service runs from Bridgeport across Long Island Sound to Port Jefferson, New York; the three vessels "Grand Republic", "P.T. Barnum" and "Park City" transport both automobiles and passengers.

Buses[edit]

The Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority (GBTA) provides bus service to Bridgeport and its immediate suburbs. Route 2 the Coastal Link goes west to Norwalk and east to Westfield's Connecticut Post Mall in Milford, from where Connecticut Transit can bring passengers to the New Haven Green. Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines both offer intercity bus service to points throughout the Northeast and points beyond.

Historic sites[edit]

Bridgeport has a number of sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

For places on the register elsewhere in Fairfield County, see List of Registered Historic Places in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Notable people[edit]

Obverse of the Bridgeport Half Dollar

Perhaps Bridgeport's most famous resident from the past is P. T. Barnum, the circus promoter who also served as mayor of the city. His portrait was used on the obverse of the coin commemorating the city's centennial in 1936. Other Bridgeporters who achieved fame far outside the city include:

Fanny Crosby was a famous blind Christian hymn writer who died in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Bridgeport city, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Emily Ross, Angus Holland (2005). One hundred great businesses and the minds behind them. Sourcebooks, Inc. p. 388. ISBN 978-1-4022-0631-3. 
  4. ^ "History Of Frisbies". Retrieved November 28, 2007. 
  5. ^ Waldo, v1 1917, pp. 14—16.
  6. ^ a b "Bridgeport, Conn.". The Encyclopedia Americana: a library of universal knowledge 4. New York: Encyclopedia Americana Corp. 1918. p. 527. Retrieved July 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ Orcutt, v1 1886, p. 609.
  8. ^ Orcutt, v1 1886, pp. 470—474.
  9. ^ Waldo, v1 1917, pp. 37—38.
  10. ^ Orcutt, v1 1886, pp. 608—609.
  11. ^ Waldo, v1 1917, pp. 222—225.
  12. ^ Strother, French (January 1916). "America, A New World Arsenal". The World's Work: A History of Our Time XXXI: 321–333. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 
  13. ^ "National Historic Places Nomination" (PDF). Black Rock. 1978. p. 11. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  14. ^ Burr, Raymond F., Abraham Lincoln: Western Star Over Connecticut, Lithographics Inc., Canton, Connecticut (no year given), pages 1 and 15; book contents reprinted by permission of the Lincoln Herald, (Harrogate, Tennessee) Summer, Fall and Winter, 1983 and Spring and Summer, 1984
  15. ^ Holzer, Harold, Lincoln at Cooper Union, (Simon & Schuster: New York), 2004 Chapter 8: "Unable to Escape This Toil," p. 201 ISBN 0-7432-2466-3
  16. ^ Fred Lucas (April 6, 2006). "Bush visits Bridgeport". News Times (Danbury). Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Martin Luther King in Bridgeport?". Bridgeport Public Library. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  18. ^ Kimes, Beverly Rae (editor) and Clark, Henry Austin, jr., The Standard Catalogue of American Cars 1805–1942, 2nd edition, Krause Publications (1989), ISBN 0-87341-111-0
  19. ^ Philip Sheldon Foner (1982). History of the Labor Movement in the United States: 1915–1916, on the Eve of America's Entrance into World War I, Vol. 6. International Publishers Company, Incorporated. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-7178-0595-2. "[A] ten-hour center like Bridgeport was converted overnight into an eight-hour community, a result that ten years of agitation under normal conditions might not have accomplished." 
  20. ^ "Bridgeport Working: Voices from the 20th Century". Bridgeport Public Library. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  21. ^ Matthew L. Wald (September 5, 1982). "THE Workplace in Transition". New York Times (US). Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  22. ^ Andi Rierden (February 25, 1990). "Bridgeport is Fighting Its 'Dump City' Image". New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  23. ^ Musante, Fred (February 1, 1998). "Teachers' Strike Stirs Bitter Memories". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  24. ^ George Judson (August 2, 1991). "U.S. Judge Blocks Bridgeport From Bankruptcy Court". New York Times. Retrieved July 17, 2010. "The case attracted national attention as Bridgeport portrayed itself as a city abandoned by industry, left to bear alone the poverty and social problems of Fairfield County that its suburbs turned their backs on." 
  25. ^ Lisa Prevost (April 10, 2009). "Revival in Progress; Stay Tuned". New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  26. ^ Bill Cummings (August 31, 2009). "Bridgeport council approves development plan". News Times (Danbury). Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  27. ^ Keila Torres (February 14, 2010). "Agencies partner for housing/medical complex in Bridgeport". News Times (Danbury). Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  28. ^ Former Bridgeport hospital converted to elderly, low income housing - Connecticut Post. Ctpost.com (2010-09-13). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  29. ^ Source: Bridgeport Animal Control
  30. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  31. ^ Cedar Creek on by Google Maps
  32. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  33. ^ "Table 3. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Connecticut: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011" (CSV). Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  34. ^ Bridgeport, Connecticut (CT) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news. City-data.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  35. ^ a b "Bridgeport (city), Connecticut". State & County QuickFacts. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Connecticut - Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  37. ^ http://www.fswinc.org/history.php
  38. ^ http://www.fswinc.org/2011pdf/annual_repoprt/Annual_report_2010.pdf
  39. ^ The 25 Most Unequal Cities In America. Business Insider (2010-10-11). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  40. ^ Zumbrun, Joshua (November 30, 2009). "America's Most Unequal Cities". Forbes. 
  41. ^ City of Bridgeport CAFR
  42. ^ http://www.bridgeportkollel.com
  43. ^ Connecticut State Districts - CT School District Rankings. Schooldigger.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  44. ^ Everton Bailey Jr. (June 18, 2010). "Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez convicted of corruption". Christian Science Monitor. Associated Press. Retrieved August 15, 2010. "Corruption investigations have brought down several prominent Connecticut politicians within the past decade.... Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim was convicted of corruption in 2003, sentenced to nine years in prison and released to a halfway house in Hartford in January. Former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year prison sentence for sexually abusing two girls, crimes that came to light during a federal corruption investigation." 
  45. ^ Michael J. Daly (June 15, 2008). "Fabrizi's story still intrigues". Connecticut Post. Retrieved August 15, 2010. 
  46. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-10-02. 
  47. ^ Connecticut Mill Rates. Courant.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  48. ^ How your taxes are determined - City of Bridgeport, CT. Bridgeportct.gov. Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  49. ^ a b Patricia Harris and David Lyon (February 6, 2008). "On a comeback: After some down times, city find itself on the verge of a renaissance". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  50. ^ Waldo, v1 1917, p. 277.
  51. ^ Jeff Holtz (August 18, 2002). "The View From/Bridgeport; Historic Seaside Park Recaptures Its Appeal". New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  52. ^ Waldo, v1 1917, p. 280.
  53. ^ F.L. & J.C. Olmsted (1884). Beardsley Park: Landscape Architects' Preliminary Report. Privately Printed (Boston). pp. 4–7. 
  54. ^ . JSTOR 2711156.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  55. ^ Stephen King (1978). Night shift. Doubleday. pp. 255–256. ISBN 978-0-385-12991-6. "'P.S. 119, Bridgeport, Connecticut' .... 'Ed Hamner, Sr., was a compulsive gambler. He worked for a top-line advertising agency in New York and then moved to Bridgeport sort of on the run.'" 
  56. ^ A. J. Sobczak, Janet Alice Long, and Frank Northen Magill (1998). Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Volume 1. Salem Press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-89356-438-4. "Joseph Wykowski. a recruit of Polish background from Bridgeport, Connecticut..." 
  57. ^ REO SPEEDWAGON - 157 RIVERSIDE AVENUE LYRICS. Songlyrics.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  58. ^ Fred Allen quotes. Thinkexist.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  59. ^ Mayor Bill Finch laughs off Family Guy's shot at Bridgeport - Connecticut Post. Ctpost.com (2010-12-13). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  60. ^ Catlin, Roger. (2010-12-13) 'Family Guy' vs. Bridgeport - Roger Catlin | TV Eye. Blogs.courant.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  61. ^ http://www.imdb.com/List?endings=on&&locations=Bridgeport,%20Connecticut,%20USA&&heading=18;with+locations+including;Bridgeport,%20Connecticut,%20USA
  62. ^ http://pressbox.teamusa.org/Pages/CURLING--Connecticut-wins-2013-USA-Curling-Mixed-National-Championship-title.aspx
  63. ^ "History" section of the WICC web site accessed June 29, 2006
  64. ^ WPKN web site "About" page accessed June 29, 2006
  65. ^ Radio Stations in Bridgeport, Connecticut. : Radio-Locator
  66. ^ Amanda Cuda (December 31, 2007). "1908 world ended at your town's border". Connecticut Post (ctpost.com, Bridgeport, CT). 

References[edit]

External links[edit]