Bridgeport is a historic seaport city in the
U.S. state of
Connecticut. The largest city in the state, it is located in Fairfield
County at the mouth of the
Pequonnock River on
Long Island Sound. As
of 2017, Bridgeport had an estimated population of 151,267, making
it also the 5th-most populous in New England Located 60 miles from
Manhattan and 40 miles from the Bronx, it is bordered by the towns of
Trumbull to the north, Fairfield to the west, and Stratford to the
Greater Bridgeport area is the 48th-largest urban area in
the United States.
Bridgeport was inhabited by the
Paugussett Indian tribe at the time of
its English colonization. The English farming community became a
center of trade, shipbuilding, and whaling. The town incorporated to
Housatonic Railroad and rapidly industrialized following
the rail line's connection to the New York and New Haven railroad.
Manufacturing was the mainstay of the local economy until the 1970s.
P.T. Barnum was a resident of the city and served as the
town's mayor in the late 19th century. Barnum built four houses in
Bridgeport, and housed his circus in town during winter. The first
Subway restaurant opened in the North End section of the city in
Frisbie Pie Company
Frisbie Pie Company was located here, and Bridgeport is
credited as the birthplace of the Frisbee.
Industrial restructuring and suburbanization caused the loss of many
jobs and affluent residents, leaving Bridgeport struggling with
problems of poverty and crime. In the 21st century, conversion of
office and factory buildings to residential use, and other
redevelopment is attracting new residents.
1.1 Colonial history
1.2 19th century
1.3 20th century
1.4 21st century
1.5 Notable speeches
4.1 Top employers
5.1 Higher education
5.2 Public education
5.3 Private education
6 Government and politics
7.1 Performing arts
7.1.1 Theater and music
7.1.2 Music festivals and concert series
7.2 Museums, zoos and parks
7.3 In popular culture
10.2.1 Surface thoroughfares
10.3 Railroad and ferries
11 Historic sites
11.1 Historic districts
12 See also
15 External links
Main article: History of Bridgeport, Connecticut
Colonial Stratfield, c.1886 map
The first documented English settlement within the present city limits
of Bridgeport took place in 1644, centered at
Black Rock Harbor
Black Rock Harbor and
along North Avenue between Park and Briarwood avenues. The place was
called Pequonnock (Quiripi for "Cleared Land"), after a band of the
Paugussett, an Algonquian-speaking Native American people who occupied
this area. One of their sacred sites was Golden Hill, which overlooked
the harbor and was the location of natural springs and their planting
fields. (It has since been blasted through for construction of an
expressway.) The Golden Hill Indians were granted a reservation
here by the Colony of
Connecticut in 1639; it lasted until 1802. (One
of the tribe acquired land for a small reservation in the late 19th
century that was recognized by the state. It is retained in the Town
Bridgeport's early years were marked by residents' reliance on fishing
and farming. This was similar to the economy of the Paugusset, who had
cultivated corn, beans, and squash; and fished and gathered shellfish
from both the river and sound. A village called Newfield began to
develop around the corner of State and Water streets in the 1760s.
The area officially became known as Stratfield in 1695 or 1701, due
to its location between the already existing towns of Stratford and
Fairfield. During the American Revolution, Newfield Harbor was a
center of privateering.
Iranistan, the residence of P.T. Barnum, in 1848
Bridgeport in 1824, by H. L. Barnum
The route of the NY&NH, showing Bridgeport in 1845
East Bridgeport Bridge over Pequannock River, ca. 1850
By the time of the State of Connecticut's ratification of the American
constitution in 1781, many of the local farmers held shares in vessels
trading at Newfield Harbor or had begun trading in their own name.
Newfield initially expanded around the coasting trade with Boston, New
Baltimore and the international trade with the West
Indies. The commercial activity of the village was clustered
around the wharves on the west bank of the Pequonnock, while the
churches were erected inland on Broad Street. In 1800, the village
became the Borough of Bridgeport, the first so incorporated in the
state. It was named for the Newfield or Lottery Bridge across the
Pequonnock, connecting the wharves on its east and west banks.
Bridgeport Bank was established in 1806. In 1821, the township of
Bridgeport became independent of Stratford.
The West India trade died down around 1840, but by that time the
Bridgeport Steamship Company (1824) and Bridgeport Whaling Company
(1833) had been incorporated and the
Housatonic Railroad chartered
(1836). The HRRC ran upstate along the Housatonic Valley,
connecting with Massachusetts's
Berkshire Railroad at the state line.
Bridgeport was chartered as Connecticut's fifth city in
1836 in order to enable the town council to secure funding
(ultimately $150,000) to provide to the HRRC and ensure that it would
terminate in Bridgeport. The Naugatuck Railroad—connecting
Bridgeport to Waterbury and Winsted along the Naugatuck—was
chartered in 1845 and began operation four years later. The
same year, the
New York and New Haven Railroad
New York and New Haven Railroad began operation,
connecting Bridgeport to New York and the other towns along the north
shore of the
Long Island Sound.
Now a major junction for western Connecticut, the city rapidly
industrialized. Following the Civil War, it held several iron
foundries and factories manufacturing firearms, metallic cartridges,
horse harnesses, locks, and blinds. Wheeler & Wilson's sewing
machines were exported throughout the world. Bridgeport annexed the
West End and the village of Black Rock and its busy harbor in
1870. In 1875,
P.T. Barnum was elected mayor of the town, which
afterwards served as the winter headquarters of Barnum and Bailey's
Circus and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
1912 postcard showing Main Street in Bridgeport
Sterling Block-Bishop Arcade, a Victorian-era shopping arcade
From 1870 to 1910, Bridgeport became the major industrial center of
Connecticut and its population rose from around 25,000 to over
100,000, including thousands of Irish, Slovaks, Hungarians, Germans,
English, and Italian immigrants. A Singer factory joined Wheeler
& Wilson in producing sewing machines and the Locomobile
Company of America was a prominent early automobile manufacturer,
producing a prototype of the
Stanley Steamer and various luxury
cars. The town was the center of America's corset production,
responsible for almost 20% of the national total, and became the
Remington Arms following its 1912 merger with the
Union Metallic Cartridge Co.
Union Metallic Cartridge Co. Around the time of the First World War,
Bridgeport was also producing steam-fitting and heating apparatuses,
brass goods, phonographs, typewriters, milling machines,
brassieres, and saddles.
A series of strikes in the summer of 1915 imposed the eight-hour day
on the town's factories; rather than moving business elsewhere, the
success spread the eight-hour day throughout the Northeast. The
First World War
First World War continued the city's expansion so that, on the eve of
the Great Depression, there were more than 500 factories in
Bridgeport, including Columbia Records' primary pressing plant. The
World War II
World War II helped its recovery in the late 1930s.
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.
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. 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.
Bridgeport made numerous efforts at revitalization. In one proposal,
Las Vegas developer
Steve Wynn was to build a large casino, but that
project failed. In 1991, the city filed for bankruptcy protection but
was declared solvent by a federal court.
A street scene in Bridgeport
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
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 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. In 2009, the
approved a new master plan for development, designed both to promote
redevelopment in selected areas and to protect existing residential
neighborhoods. 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. Recently, MGM announced plans to build a
waterfront casino and shopping center in the city, awaiting approval
by the state government. If built, the development will create 2,000
permanent jobs and about 5,779 temporary jobs.
On 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 pm train that night back
to Manhattan. A plaque marks the site where Lincoln spoke;
later that year, he was elected president.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke three times at the Klein
Auditorium during the 1960s. Additionally, President George W. Bush
spoke before a small group of
Connecticut business people and
officials at the Playhouse on the Green in 2006. President Barack
Obama also spoke at the Harbor Yard arena in 2010 to gain support for
the campaign of Democratic Governor Dan Malloy.
See also: Geography of Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is located along
Long Island Sound
Long Island Sound at the mouth of the
Pequonnock River, named for the Native American tribe who historically
lived along it.
Bridgeport is renowned for its public park system, which has led to
its official nickname as "The Park City". The city's first public park
was the westerly portion of McLevy Green, first set aside as a public
square 1806, although the Clinton Park Militia Grounds (1666) and
Old Mill Green (1717) were set aside earlier as public commons by the
towns of Fairfield and Stratford, respectively. 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 44 acres (180,000 m2) to create Seaside Park, now
increased by acquisition and landfill to 375 acres
(1.52 km2). In 1878, over 100 acres (400,000 m2) of land
Pequonnock River was added as Beardsley Park.
Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for creating New York City's Central
Park, designed both Seaside and Beardsley Parks. 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 city of Bridgeport is divided into many distinct
neighborhoods, divided into five geographic areas: Downtown, the
East Side, the North End, the South End, and the West Side.
Boston Avenue/Mill Hill
Lower East Side
Upper East Side
North Bridgeport/Little Italy
Under the Köppen climate classification, Bridgeport has a temperate
climate (Cfa), with some maritime influence; it is part of USDA
hardiness zone 7a. Bridgeport, like the rest of coastal
Connecticut, lies in the broad transition zone between the continental
New England and southeast Canada to the north, and the
milder temperate climates to the south. The normal average monthly
temperature ranges from 30.1 °F (−1.1 °C) in January to
74.3 °F (23.5 °C) in July; on average, there are
20 days where the temperature remains at or below freezing and
7.6 days with a high at or above 90 °F (32 °C)
annually; the last year to not reach the latter mark was 2004.
Temperatures reaching 0 °F (−18 °C) or 100 °F
(38 °C) are rare, and were last seen respectively on January 7,
2018 and July 22, 2011. The record low is −7 °F
(−22 °C), set on January 22, 1984, while the record high is
103 °F (39 °C), set on July 22 in 1957 and 2011.
Precipitation averages 42.7 inches (1,080 mm) annually, and is
somewhat evenly distributed throughout the year, though March and
April are the wettest months in terms of total precipitation. Snowfall
averages 27.6 inches (70 cm) per winter, falling almost entirely
from December to March. As is typical of coastal Connecticut, snow
cover does not usually remain for long, with an average of 29 days per
winter with snow cover of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm).
Climate data for Bridgeport,
Connecticut (Sikorsky Airport),
1981–2010 normals, extremes 1948–present
Record high °F (°C)
Mean maximum °F (°C)
Average high °F (°C)
Daily mean °F (°C)
Average low °F (°C)
Mean minimum °F (°C)
Record low °F (°C)
Average precipitation inches (mm)
Average snowfall inches (cm)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch)
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch)
See also: List of
Connecticut locations by per capita income
U.S. Decennial Census
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. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 20.3% of the population.
Other ancestry groups include: Italian (8.6%), Irish (5.1%),
Portuguese (2.9%), Polish (2.8%), and German (2.4%).
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.
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
According to 2010 census data, the Bridgeport MSA, containing all of
Fairfield County, is the most economically unequal region in America,
with 57% of the wealth going to the top percentile.
Since the decline of its industrial sector beginning in the middle of
the 20th century, Bridgeport has gradually adjusted to a service-based
economy. Though a level of industrial activity continues, healthcare,
finance, and education have evolved into the centerpieces of
The two largest employers within the city are Bridgeport's primary
Bridgeport Hospital and St. Vincent's Medical Center. The
City Hospital closed in 1993 and was reopened in 2010 as
elderly and homeless housing units. Emergency medical services are
American Medical Response
American Medical Response at the paramedic level.
According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial
Report, the top employers in the city are:
Bridgeport Hospital, an affiliate of the Yale School of Medicine
A portion of the harbor in Bridgeport: Facilities shown are part of
United Illuminating coal-fired power plant
# of Employees
St. Vincent's Medical Center
People's United Bank
University of Bridgeport
Bridgeport Health Care Center
Housatonic Community College
Watermark Retirement Communities
Main article: Education in Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is home to the University of Bridgeport, Housatonic
Community College, St. Vincent's College, and the Yeshiva Gedola of
Bridgeport. The Yeshiva Gedola is currently the home of the Bridgeport
Community Kollel, a rabbinic fellowship program.
The University of Bridgeport's Ernest C. Trefz School of Business
offers programs for both undergraduate and graduate.
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. 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
Public high schools
Bassick High School
Bassick High School established in 1929.
Central High School established in 1876, home to Central Magnet,
largest of the high schools.
Warren Harding High School home to the International Baccalaureate
Program (IBO) and the Health Magnet Program in association with
Bridgeport Hospital, St. Vincent's Medical Center, and Bridgeport
Manor; also the alma mater of Walt Kelly, creator of Pogo.
Bridgeport Regional Vocational Aquaculture School (BRVAS), a school
specializing in marine and aquaculture curriculum. Located near
historic Captain's Cove and open to students from surrounding towns.
Bullard Havens Technical High School, a vocational high school. (State
The Bridge Academy: Bridgeport Charter High School
Achievement First Bridgeport Charter High School
Public magnet schools
Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Multi-Magnet High School
Bridgeport is also home to private schools, including Bridgeport Hope
Bridgeport International Academy
Bridgeport International Academy (grades 9-12), Catholic
Academies of Bridgeport (PK-8),
Kolbe Cathedral High School (9-12),
St. Andrew Academy (PK-8), St. Ann Academy (PK-8), and Zion Lutheran
Government and politics
The city is governed by the mayor-council system. Twenty members of
the city council are elected from districts. Each district elects two
members. The mayor is elected at-large 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.
Joseph P. Ganim was involved in a corruption scandal, as has
been the case with Mayor Eddie Perez of
Hartford in 2010. In June
John M. Fabrizi admitted that he had used cocaine while in
Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 27, 2015
Taxes are high in Bridgeport, and the second highest in the
county. In 2005, the mill rate for Bridgeport was
42.28 and is reportedly 41.855 for fiscal year 2013-2014.
Theater and music
Bridgeport has a number of venues for live theater and music events,
ranging from intimate performing spaces to a stadium hosting rock
Downtown Cabaret Theatre – cabaret, children's theater, concerts
Playhouse on the Green – (228 seats) theater with plays and varied
Klein Memorial Auditorium
Klein Memorial Auditorium – (1,400 seats) home to the Greater
Bridgeport Symphony, touring shows and concerts
Webster Bank Arena
Webster Bank Arena – Sporting events venue, but also hosts large
Music festivals and concert series
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
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, and Anita Chen.
Museums, zoos and parks
Bridgeport has a number of museums, ranging from the science-oriented
to fine arts and historical, as well as the state's largest zoo.
Discovery Museum and Planetarium
Discovery Museum and Planetarium emphasizes exhibits on science,
with the state's only Challenger Center, affiliated with the national
Housatonic Museum of Art, located at Housatonic Community College, has
the largest collection of art of any two-year college in the nation.
Barnum Museum celebrates the showman, circuses and Bridgeport
Beardsley Zoo is the only such center in Connecticut.
In popular culture
A list of films shot or partially filmed in the city:
Officer Down (2012)
A Dance for Grace (2010)
3 Weeks to Daytona (2009)
Accidental Mayor (2009)
All Good Things (2009)
Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
Dear Beautiful (2009)
The Godfather Musical Part III: Luca Brasi Sleeps with the Fishes
House of Satisfaction (2009)
Made for Each Other (2009)
The Music of Erich Zann (2009/II)
Old Dogs (2009/I)
College Road Trip
College Road Trip (2008)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Pistol Whipped (2008)
Righteous Kill (2008)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)
What Just Happened
What Just Happened (2008)
Bobby Dogs (2007)
Dear Beautiful (2007)
Praying to Hendrix (2007)
Die Hard with a Vengeance
Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
A Walk with Death (1993)
Route One USA (1989)
There's a Nightmare in My Closet (1987)
Without a Trace (1983)
The Case of the Cosmic Comic (1976)
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)
The Light that Failed
The Light that Failed (1916)
Kitchen Nightmares (Season 4, Episode 7, "Tavolini Restaurant", 2011)
Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular (2010) (TV)
Remington Arms Factory" (Episode 21, November 2009)
WWE Raw (Nov. 18, 2002; Mar. 8, 2004; Dec. 26, 2005; August 21, 2006;
April 9, 2007; April 27, 2009; June 21, 2010, April 11, 2011 and Sep
WWE Smackdown, ECW, and NXT (May 7, 2002; March 4, 2003; August 2,
2005; Dec. 9, 2008; Nov. 24, 2009; Nov. 2, 2010; and Nov. 15, 2011)
Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day (2007)
WWE Raw's 15th Anniversary
Flip This House: "Burning Down the House" (2005)
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2003 & 2007)
Made in America (2003)
U.S. Bounty Hunter (2003)
The Twentieth Century (1957, The Class of '58 episode)
Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye (TV Movie, 1977), bar scene of JFK
campaigning with local workers filmed in the Ideal Bar on Barnum
Avenue across from the former Singer Building
Live PD (2016-)
Bridgeport is the setting for Maureen Howard's Natural History, a
novel that includes scenes from the city's history and depicts
important historical figures such as P. T. Barnum.
The Ballpark at Harbor Yard
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
AHL, Ice hockey
Arena at Harbor Yard
Webster Bank Arena
Webster Bank Arena 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 and as the home court of Fairfield
University's basketball team.
The Ballpark at Harbor Yard
The Ballpark at Harbor Yard served as a minor-league baseball stadium
from 1998 to 2017. It was built in 1998 to serve as the homefield of
the Bridgeport Bluefish. From 2001 to 2003 it was the homefield for
the Bridgeport Barrage, a Major League Lacrosse team. It is located
downtown on a former brownfield site. It is visually prominent to
commuters on I-95 or on passing trains. On August 8, 2017,
Mayor Joe Ganim announced that the Bluefish would be ending
their 20 year stint at the ballpark at the end of the 2017 season. The
ballpark is expected to be converted to a concert venue. The
Bluefish played their final home game at the park on September 17,
2017, losing by a score of 9–2 to the Somerset Patriots.
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.
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, led by club members Derek Surka and Charissa
Lin. The club is a member of the Grand National
Curling Club Region.
WCUM AM 1450; 1,000 watts (formerly WJBX-AM, and before that, WNAB-AM)
Spanish Format station better known as Radio Cumbre.
WDJZ AM 1530; 5,000 watts (daytime only) Gospel Radio that serves the
African American and Caribbean communities in the Bridgeport Metro
WICC-AM 600; 1,000 watts (daytime), 500 watts (nighttime) – WICC
began broadcasting on November 21, 1926, when a previous radio
station, WCWS, was given a new name, WICC. The last three letters
standing for Industrial Capitol of Connecticut. The Bridgeport
Broadcasting Company Inc. was the new station's owner. Back then, the
station was powered at 500 watts. From 1951 to 1956 one of the
station's radio hosts was Bob Crane, who later went on to play Col.
Robert Hogan on the Hogan's Heroes television comedy series.
WICC's transmitter is located on Pleasure Beach, an island located
between downtown Bridgeport and
Long Island Sound.
WEBE-FM 107.9; 50,000 watts. WEBE108 is "CT's Best Music Variety!"
owned and operated by Cumulus Media. Licensed to Westport, CT, with
studios and transmitter in Bridgeport.
WEZN-FM 99.9; 27,500 watts (formerly WJZZ-FM). Star 99.9 is "Today's
Best Mix!" The station owned by Connoisseur Media. Lincensed to
Bridgeport, CT, with studios in Milford and transmitter in Shelton.
WPKN-FM 89.5; 10,000 watts
Due to Bridgeport's close proximity to
Long Island Sound, many radio
stations from New York and
Long Island are received clearly day and
night in the market. These include WMCA, WFAN, WOR, WABC, WNYC, WCBS,
WEPN, WQEW, WBLI, and WALK.
Radio stations in the Bridgeport,
By AM frequency
By FM frequency
by frequency & subchannel
Radio markets in Fairfield County
Other nearby radio markets
New York City
List of radio stations in Connecticut
Elsolnews.com, a community Spanish language weekly newspaper covering
news and events.
Connecticut Post - Formerly the Bridgeport Post and Bridgeport
Telegram, which covers Bridgeport and the surrounding area. The
newspaper is printed daily.
Bridgeport was NBC's pioneer UHF TV test site from December 29, 1949
to August 23, 1952; 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:
WEDW channel 49; one of the
Connecticut Public Television stations,
broadcasts from Bridgeport and can be seen in Hartford.
WTNH-TV opened a satellite studio in the offices of the
Connecticut Post downtown on State Street.
WZME channel 43 now mostly broadcasts older classic TV shows. Licensed
to Bridgeport with transmitter in Trumbull.
Sikorsky Memorial Airport
Sikorsky Memorial Airport in neighboring Stratford was previously
owned by the
City of Bridgeport before closing a deal in 2016 that
sold the land to Stratford. It once provided regional flights to major
cities, but commercial operations at the airport were terminated in
The main portion of the city is divided by major north/south roads
that approximately parallel each other:
Main Street, the city's principal artery, extending from the Trumbull
town line down through the North End, under Routes 8/25, and into
downtown, with its southern terminus at Seaside Park. The portion
North of State Street was laid out as the "Newtown Turnpike" in 1795.
Porter Street, Beechmont Avenue, and Kaechele Place are former curves
in this highway that were lopped of as the road was straightened in
the 19th century.
Park Avenue lies on the borderline with the town of Fairfield (North
of its intersection with Brooklawn Avenue) and extends from the
Connecticut border in the North End to the South End at
Seaside Park. It was known as "Division Street" until 1867. It is the
easternmost of the "11 o'clock" roadways laid out in 17th-century
Fairfield (their north-northwesterly direction points them like a
clock's hands at that hour, exactly perpendicular to the shoreline of
Long Island Sound, that facilitated land distribution).
Clinton/Brooklawn Avenues are a central artery through the West End,
extending North from Railroad Avenue to the Fairfield line at the
Rooster River. The portion to the North of Fairfield Avenue was laid
out in the 17th century at the center of the agricultural village of
Stratfield. It was known as "Stratfield Road" prior to 1870.
Brewster Street extends from
Black Rock Harbor
Black Rock Harbor North to the Fairfield
line at Ash Creek, and is the major north-south artery through the
Black Rock neighborhood. This was the southernmost portion of the
"Black Rock Turnpike," a toll road of the late-18th century that
extended North as far as Danbury.
Madison Avenue is situated between Main Street and Park Avenue, that
extends from the Trumbull town line in the North End and continues
through the West Side. It was formerly known as "Chestnut Hill Road,"
and follows the route of an Indian path.
Reservoir Avenue was part of a turnpike that was laid out in 1817 in
an almost arrow-straight line from Bridgeport north to the Monroe
Green (it followed Daniels Farm Road in Trumbull and Moose Hill Road
in Monroe). The "Reservoir" was a stone structure at the intersection
of Sylvan Avenue, to which water was pumped from nearby Bunnell's
Pond, and from which water was supplied to the entire city by gravity.
Prior to construction of the Route 25-8 Expressway, this street
extended South to North Avenue.
Noble Avenue extends from the corner of Congress Street just South of
Washington Park to the intersection of East Main Street and Huntington
Turnpike. The portion below
Boston Avenue was laid out in 1850 as
"Noble Street;" the part to the north was added to connect with the
entrance to the new
Beardsley Park in 1878.
East Main Street is the major North/South road through East
Bridgeport, extending from the Trumbull/Stratford line though the East
Side, ending at Bridgeport Harbor. The portion South of Boston
Avenue/Old Mill Green was laid out in 1800.
Huntington Turnpike is the major roadway through the
Upper East Side, extending Northeasterly from the Berkshire Bridge to
the Trumbull town line (a small portion today becomes part of East
Main Street). It was one of a number of turnpikes laid out in the
immediate post-Revolutionary period to funnel rural commerce to the
fledgling city's seaport, and formerly extended to the city center by
way of North Washington Avenue.
Seaview Avenue runs the length of the East End neighborhood on the
East shore of Pembroke Lake, Yellow Mill Pond, and Bridgeport Harbor.
It extends Northwesterly from Central to Stratford Avenues, then due
North from Stratford to
Boston Avenues. It was laid out at the time of
the Civil War in three sections that were later connected: "Sea View
Avenue" South of Stratford Avenue: "West Avenue" at Deacon's Point,
from Sixth Street North to the railroad tracks; and "Lake Avenue,"
from Barnum Avenue North to
Central/Palisade Avenues were laid out as farm highways through the
westerly portions of what was the town of Stratford in the early 19th
century. They form a North-South axis through the center of today's
East End. The portion of Central Avenue to the north of Barnum Avenue
was known as "Prospect Street" from the 1860s through 1889 due to the
vistas from its hillside location.
The major East/West roads in the city include 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 Old Mill Hill,
and ends at the Pequonnock River. The portion through the East Side
was laid out as "Barnum Street" in 1850. From Pembroke Lake to Mill
Hill Avenue was added in 1863. The road from Mill Hill Avenue to the
Washington Bridge between Stratford and Milford was laid out as the
"Air Line Highway" in 1870.
Boston Avenue breaks off from Barnum Avenue near the Bridgeport line
in Stratford and travels east-west over Old Mill Hill to the Upper
East Side toward the North End. It follows the route of an Indian
path, crossing Old Mill Brook and the
Pequonnock River and the
southernmost points where they were fordable, that became the Post
Road in the 1670s.
Stratford Avenue starts in the South End of the town of Stratford and
travels Southwest through the East End. It then travels East through
East Bridgeport directly into the center of Downtown Bridgeport, where
it turns into Fairfield Avenue at Water Street. It was laid out in
1795 as a more direct route for the "Post Road," and the bridge built
that year over the Pequonnock was the origin of the name "Bridgeport."
Connecticut Avenue, which parallels it one block to the North through
the East End, is a one-way street heading West, while Stratford Avenue
is one-way heading East.
Fairfield Avenue extends West and then Southwest through the West End
and into Black Rock, where it turns into the
Boston Post Road, or
simply, the Post Road, at the Fairfield,
Connecticut line. Its route
through the West End parallels what had been the northerly edge of an
extensive salt marsh, and had been in existence in the 18th century.
The portion through Black Rock was added in the 1870s.
North Avenue begins at
Boston Avenue where the East Side abuts the
Island Brook neighborhood at the
Pequonnock River and extends
Southwest diagonally through the city as US 1. It then turns into
Kings Highway in Fairfield. As with
Boston Avenue, it was follows an
Indian trail, and was formalized as a part of the New York-to-Boston
Post Road in the 1670s.
Capitol Avenue begins by breaking off from North Avenue at Island
Brook Avenue Extension. It travels West across the Old North End and
Brooklawn neighborhoods and ends at the Fairfield line.
State Street begins in Downtown and cuts across the West End, where it
terminates (as 'State Street Extension') at the Fairfield line. The
portion from Park Avenue to Bridgeport Harbor was in existence by the
1760s; the part to the West of Park Avenue was extended across what
was then marshy terrain in 1867.
Atlantic Street bisects the South End neighborhood, historically
separating the well-to-do residential district that adjoined the old
portion of Seaside Park from the working-class blocks to the north.
Today it forms the north border of the University of Bridgeport
Railroad Avenue extends from Broad Street just below Downtown
Bridgeport and runs parallel with the Metro North/New Haven Railroad
lines. The Westbound side is to the north of the tracks, and the
Eastbound side to the south of them. It terminates at Fairfield Avenue
in the West End.
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
Connecticut Ave, Stratford Ave, Fairfield Ave and Water Street),
and the Huntington Turnpike.
Railroad and ferries
New Haven Line
New Haven Line train approaches the intermodal transit hub at
Bridgeport Traction Company provided streetcar service in the
region until 1937. The
Housatonic Railroad carried passengers North
through the Pequonnock and Housatonic Valleys prior to 1933.
The city is connected to nearby New York
City by both
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
Long Island Sound
Long Island Sound to Port Jefferson, New York; the three
vessels "Grand Republic", "P.T. Barnum" and "Park City" transport both
automobiles and passengers.
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.
Peter Pan Bus Lines
Peter Pan Bus Lines both offer
intercity bus service to points throughout the Northeast and points
Bridgeport has five local historic districts, where exterior changes
to structures are under the control of two Historic District
Black Rock Harbor
Black Rock Harbor Historic District, 88 buildings along Ellsworth,
Brewster, and Beacon Streets, includes the village center of a
historic seaport, with buildings that date back to the 17th century
City Historic District, 266 buildings in a general two-block
radius of Washington Park, a planned residential development
constructed 1850–1900 that contains the city's most important
concentration of Victorian architecture
Stratfield Historic District, 300 buildings along Clinton, Brooklawn,
and Laurel Avenues that made up an elite residential district of the
Barnum-Palliser Development Historic District, 33 buildings on Austin,
Gregory, and Atlantic Streets and Myrtle Avenue that was a planned
working-class development of the 1880s designed by the architectural
firm of Palliser, Palliser, and Company
Marina Park Historic District, 14 buildings along South Park Avenue
and Marina Park, contains some of the city's most opulent late
19th-early 20th century mansions overlooking Seaside Park
History of Bridgeport, Connecticut
National Register of Historic Places listings in Bridgeport,
List of people from Bridgeport, Connecticut
St. Andrew Church (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bridgeport, Connecticut.
City of Bridgeport official website
Bridgeport Public Schools
Bridgeport History Links
Bridgeport Working: Voices from the 20th Century – Bridgeport Public
Bridgeport Herald, Google news archive. —PDFs of 565 issues, dating
from 1897 to 1910.
Black Rock Harbor
Black Rock Harbor Historic District" Bridgeport's first historic
district, created in 1979
"BlackRockHistory.org" History of Bridgeport's Black Rock section
during the American Revolution
"Goldenhillindian.org" History of Bridgeport's Golden Hill Native
"Bridgeporthistory.us" History of American Entertainment in Bridgeport
Places adjacent to Bridgeport, Connecticut
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