District Overview Inventory List District Map

Marina Park Historic District

LHD boundaries as described are approximate and subject to change. Consult the LHD Study Report on file with the relevant local district commission or municipal authority to verify district boundaries and whether a specific property, particularly one in proximity of a boundary line, is within the district. Also note that LHD boundaries may differ from those of State or National Register Districts.

Year of Establishment:
District Authority:
Historic District Commission No. 1
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
District Character:
Urban neighborhood

Buildings, Parks, Monument, Water front, Other- Sewage treatment, Boat slips; [Houses: 110; Parks: 1 (Bayview); Buildings:11; Boat slips: Numerous]

Architectural Style:

Greek revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Stick style, Colonial revival, Revival/ eclectic styles, Vernacular, Modern

19th century, 20th Century

The Marina Park Historic District is a late Victorian/ Edwardian residential neighborhood extending along the lower Park Avenue in the South End if Bridgeport. The area contained within the district constitutes the survising intact portion if what was an 80 acre wealthy residential section in the late-19th century. The neighborhood once extended from Seaside Park north to Atlantic Street and west to Iranistan Avenue. Marina Park is the last uncompromised concentration of monumental late-19th-century domestic architecture in Bridgeport. It slopes upwards from Seaside Park and forms a fitting, almost integral complement to that important Olmsted-deslgned landmark. Its buildings are among the finest the city produced during what was perhaps its heyday of residential development on a grand suburban scale.

The Marina Park District today is a landmark of wide local recognition, accessibility and appreciation. Its mainly Institutional ownership has, within the past several years, begun to realize the Intrinsic value of the area to the community as a whole. The University of Bridgeport in particular has initiated steps to assure that what remains of Marina Park be ultimately preserved in a manner befitting its status by sympathetic reuse, maintairience of existing fabric Instead of uncomplimentary remodeling, and cessation of further demolition.[NR]

Architecture: Marina Park's history is associated with the lives of persons significant In both local and national history (Criterion B). Its progenitor was P.T. Barnum, the 19th-century showman, who had been instrumental in obtaining Seaside Park for the city in l865. Barnum built his own home "Waldemere" adjoining the park in l869 on land which encompassed the present area of Marina Park. By 1886 he was working on plans to replace the stylishly-outmoded Waldemere with a more modern, Richardsonian-style structure which he named "Marina". The 30-acre grounds were subdivided into house lots for Bridgeport's fast-rising industrialist and merchant class. With its monumental architecture combined with park and ocean views, Marina Park in its prime was probably one of the more impressive residential districts in the state.

Marina Park is representative of the characteristics of late-19th and early-20th century domestic architecture as well as the work of a master architect, George Longstaff (Criterion C). The succession of large houses extending up Park Avenue from the Perry Memorial Arch is unique on such a scale in Bridgeport, which is otherwise lacking in well-preserved enclaves of such buildings solely from this period (Marina Park's only contemporary in the city at the turn of the century was Fairfield Avenue, which has since been overtaken by commercial development).[NR]

[1] District information and maps obtained from the town website www.bridgeportct.gov.
[2] Historic buildings survey data base documentation, Bridgeport, Connecticut Historical Commission, 1997.
[3] Assessors information retrieved from the website visionappraisal.com.
[4] GIS information retrieved on from the website http://gis.cdm.com/BridgeportCT/map.htm.
[NR] Brilvitch Charles W., Marina Park Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 82004382 NRIS, National Park Service, 1982 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/82004382.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/82004382.pdf

Historic District Number 1 is geographically comprised of all areas of City except Stratfield Historic District.

Date of Compilation:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation