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Overview

Introduction to Bridgeport

Settled in 1639, Bridgeport is located in the southwest corner of Connecticut. The city lies where the Pequonnock River empties into Long Island Sound, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It was incorporated as a borough in 1800, as a town in 1821, and as a city in 1836. Bridgeport has had a series of names - Pequonnock, New Fairfield, Stratford, and Fairfield Village. In 1800 it received its present name when a drawbridge was built over the Pequonnock River. Measured by population, Bridgeport is the largest city in the state.

Known as Park City, Bridgeport contains 27 parks. Seaside Park, which lies along the shore, covers 210 acres. Beardsley Park encompasses winding roads and paths through woodlands, Beardsley Zoo, and a golf course within its 234 acres. Both were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City.

Many outsiders may know the city only by viewing the industrial buildings in the enterprise zone as they drive through on Interstate 95. It is indeed an economic contrast to nearby cities on the state's Gold Coast.

With no fewer than 54 Registered Historic Places, Bridgeport is rich in history. The architecture is interesting and diverse. Small distances make this an easily walkable city. Lincoln spoke here after his speaking tour which began at Cooper Union in New York City, as did George W. Bush. P.T. Barnum made this place his home, wintering his circus here, and serving as mayor.

The earliest years of Bridgeport's economy were driven by fishing and agriculture. The mid 1800s saw shipbuilding and whaling due to the presence of a deep harbor. The late 1800s brought industrialization. Well known companies and products from Bridgeport include Singer Manufacturing Co., Remington Arms Co., Underwood Elliot Fisher typewriters, Dictaphone Corp., Bridgeport milling machines, and Crane Valves. Beginning in the late 1900s, de-industrialization took a heavy toll on the city. Perhaps the most well known product evolution began at the Frisbie Pie Company, which was located in Bridgeport. Yale students discovered that flinging the pie plates was a great source of entertainment, and the concept of the Frisbie toy was born.

There are many events and attractions. The Barnum Festival is a series of dozens of events such as dances, food fares, galas, concerts, and sports competitions. Captain's Cove Seaport is the largest tourist attraction.

Cultural institutions include the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, the Downtown Cabaret Theatre, the Playhouse on the Green, and Discovery Museum and Planetarium. Admission is free at the Housatonic Museum of Art which houses works by Picasso, Rodin, and Warhol. Institutions of higher education include the University of Bridgeport and Housatonic Community College.

Sports fans have several outlets to choose from. The Bridgeport Bluefish of the North Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball play at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Note that this team has no connection to the minor leagues associated with Major League Baseball. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL hockey team and Fairfield University's basketball team both play at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

The city is blessed with many transportation options. Paralleling the shore line are Interstate 95 and Route 1. Also paralleling the shore, but about 6 miles inland, is the Merritt Parkway (Route 15), before it makes a change of direction to the northeast. Routes 8 and 25 run generally northeasterly. Commuting to New York, Stamford, New Haven, and Waterbury can also be accomplished by train using Amtrak or Metro-North. Greyhound and Peter Pan bus lines provide access to major cities. The Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority (GBTA) runs within the city and nearby suburbs. A ferry boat transports vehicles and passengers to Port Jefferson on Long Island.

People

Total Population 147,340
Male Share of the Population 48.5%
Female Share of the Population 51.5%
Senior Citizens 9.8%
Employed Population 16+ 65,257
Age of the Population 33

Families

% of people married 33.1%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 17.1%
Median Earnings25+ $29,851
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,691
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,817

Wealth

Median Family Income $45,848
% Above Poverty Level 77.1%
% Below Poverty Level 22.9%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 27 minutes
% Working from Home 2.4%
% Walking and Biking to Work 5.1%
% Using Public Transportation 10.8%

Housing

People Living Alone 28.9%
Median Gross Rent $1,098
Median House Value $169,100

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 59.9%
US/American 0.1%
English 1.3%
Irish 4.2%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bridgeport Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 50 miles NE of New York, New York
County Fairfield
Standard Zip Codes 06604, 06605, 06606, 06607, 06608, 06610, 06611, 06612, 06614, 06615, 06650
P.O. Box Zip Codes 06601, 06602
Company Zip Codes 06673, 06699
Phone Area Codes 203
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.166
Longitude -73.205

Bridgeport Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station BRIDGEPORT SIKORSKY AP
Distance 3.7 miles
Jan Temp 23 to 37 F
Apr Temp 41 to 57 F
Jul Temp 66 to 82 F
Oct Temp 46 to 63 F
Annual Precip 44.1 inches
Station STAMFORD 5 N
Distance 18.3 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 38 F
Apr Temp 38 to 62 F
Jul Temp 62 to 85 F
Oct Temp 42 to 65 F
Annual Precip 52.7 inches
Station MOUNT CARMEL
Distance 22.6 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 35 F
Apr Temp 37 to 57 F
Jul Temp 62 to 83 F
Oct Temp 41 to 62 F
Annual Precip 52.7 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Ansonia 19,035 $61,585
Derby 12,796 $64,134
Milford 53,206 $99,856
New Haven 130,612 $45,540
Norwalk 87,701 $93,166
Shelton 40,783 $103,831

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bridgeport Hospitals

ST VINCENT'S MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
2800 MAIN ST
(203) 576-5551
Emergency Service: Yes

BRIDGEPORT HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
267 GRANT STREET
(203) 384-3000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Stratford
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  • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
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Shelton
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Bridgeport High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
1 LINCOLN BLVD.
203-576-7377
Serves 2,217 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.5

HARDING HIGH SCHOOL
1734 CENTRAL AVE.
203-576-7330
Serves 1,599 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.1

BASSICK HIGH SCHOOL
1181 FAIRFIELD AVE.
203-576-7350
Serves 1,227 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.2

BULLARD-HAVENS V-T SCHOOL
500 PALISADE AVE.
203-579-6333
A Vocational School
A Title I School.
Serves 958 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.7

THE BRIDGE ACADEMY
510 BARNUM AVE.
203-336-9999
A Charter School.
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 175 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.7

BRIDGEPORT COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL CENTER
1106 NORTH AVE.
203-579-6131
A Non-traditional School
Serves 49 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.3

HOMEBOUND
45 LYON TERRACE
203-576-7302

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