Stratfield Historic District

Street view of Clinton Avenue, Stratfield; Source- NRIS 80004060
Historic/Common Name:
Stratfield National Register Historic District
Town:
Bridgeport »
Year of Establishment:
1990
Notes on Establishment:
A public hearing of all affected property owners was held on February 6, 1991 and a two-third majority voted in favor of the district. The Commission membership is restricted to owners of property within the District.
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Stratfield Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Urban neighborhood
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The Stratfield neighborhood was considered one of Bridgeport's best residential districts between the 1870s and the 1920s, and its buildings are among the city's most distinctive representatives of their various architectural styles. The district is residential in character. It consists primarily of detached single-family wood frame dwellings, with an admixture of brick as well as two-family houses. There are no intrusions of incompatible commercial architecture, although many of the houses, particularly along Brooklawn, Clinton, and North Avenues have been unobtrusively converted to office use. Set well back from the streets behind wide, tree-shaded lawns, the houses of Stratfield form a cohesive unit and are for the most part eminently compatible in scale.[NR]

It is named after the Colonial era farming village of Stratfield and features some of the city–s most distinguished examples of various architectural styles from periods ranging form the 1840s to the 1930s.[1]

Significance of the district:

Architecture: The Stratfield Historic District encompasses a late 19th, early 20th-century suburban residential neighborhood built on the remains of a 17th-century agricultural settlement. It became a favored site for the homes of the city's leading industrialists and businessmen during a period of tremendous expansion when Bridgeport grew from a smaller, commerce-oriented center to one of the great industrial hubs of the Northeast. Stratfield's contribution to the broad patterns of American history began in the mid-17th century. The farming village was centered at the Stratfield Militia Grounds (north west corner of North and Brooklawn Avenues), mid-way between the larger towns of Stratford and Fairfield, which was the basis for its name.

Stratfield was associated with the lives of persons of both local and national significance. P.T. Barnum and S.H.Wales, founder (in 1845) and editor of Scientific American. P.T. Barnum, the showman, lived adjacent to the district on Fairfield Avenue and used part of the land along Clinton Avenue (then known as Stratfield Road) as a game park in the 1850s. He later became one of the neighborhood's developers. The Stratfield neighborhood as a whole constitutes the finest collection of late 19th-and early 20th-century suburban residential architecture in the Bridgeport area, and is one of the few examples of this type of development on such a large scale in Connecticut. Each of the various architectural styles represented can be seen there in its pristine state, well-maintained and with its original setting (landscaping, companion structures, etc) still in place. The atmosphere of the neighborhood is redolent of its period of peak development, and as such it stands as a model of late 19th- and early 20th-century urban residential aspirations. [NR]

District Boundary:

The historic district includes properties following major streets: Beechwood Avenue, Blackman Place, Brooklawn Avenue, Brooklawn Place, Clinton Avenue, Elmwood Avenue, Elmwood Place, Hazelwood Avenue, Laurel Avenue, Maplewood Avenue, North Avenue, Rusling Place, Sterling Place and Unquawa Hill; as described in the district ordinance.

Features:

Buildings, Parks

Use:

Residential, Commercial, Educational, Religious, Park

Architectural Style:

The majority of the houses built between 1900 and 1920 are adaptations of Colonial architecture, perhaps influenced somewhat by their historic environs. There are also significant numbers of other revived styles, including English Tudor, Regency, Spanish and Dutch Colonial, and French Normandy in addition to the free-styled architecture then emanating out of California. [NR]

Era:
19th century, 20th Century
Sources:

[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., Stratfield Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 80004060 NRIS, National Park Service, 1980 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/80004060.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/80004060.pdf

Notes:

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

Links:
Map:

Map of the local historic district retrieved from the town website.

View photo
Disclaimer:

The list of the designated properties has been obtained from Historic buildings survey data base documentation, Bridgeport, Connecticut Historical Commission, 1997, City Hall, Bridgeport. In case of any discrepancies and/or omissions, the user is urged to contact the Historic District Commission for verification.

Date of Compilation:
9/15/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation