ameriKunt (intravenous) wrote in connecticut,

Bridgeport

These are some pictures that I found of my hometown Bridgeport, Connecticut.

It's current state is a mere shadow of its former greatness. It's
historical relevance runs deep.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with this place. I love it
because it's my home among other reasons. I hate it because it's
miserable, poor and neglected. It once progressive and productive life
as a city is now just considered a black mark on Fairfield County.
Poverty runs rampant, employment opportunities almost do not exist.
Crime and drugs are a way of life for many residents. Whether being
apart of or living adjacent to. Not to mention the stream of corrupt
politicians that have plagued Bridgeport for as far back as I can
remember.

Even thinking about these things makes my heart hang heavily.

A lot of these buildings still stand. Many of them partially burned,
boarded up and completely abandoned. Many remain as some very
important aspects of not only New England's history, but the rest of
the United States (and in some instances the worlds). From industry,
to progress in things we take advantage of in our everyday lives.
Dental Hygiene, Frisbee Pies, Sikorsky, Remington Arms, and Barnum and
Bailey Circus, just to name a few.

If only I had a few billion dollars.

Pleasure Beach, 1911
Pleasure Beach, 1911



Pleasure Beach 1689
Pleasure Beach, 1689
Please beach was once a very popular amusement park. Today it's
completely abandoned because of vandalism that resulted in the burning
of a bridge that would allow residents and tourists easy access to
this peninsula in between Bridgeport and Stratford. Now it takes a two
mile walk or a boat to get there.

Railroad Bridge 1900
Railroad Bridge, 1900
This bridge is still used to this day. Mainly by (but certainly not
limited to) the commuter rail Metro North. Which runs from New Haven,
CT to Grand Central Station, NYC.

Barnum and BaileyWinter Quarters 1900
Barnum and Bailey Winter Quarters, 1900

Barnum andBailey Circus Winter Quarters 1920
Barnum and Bailey Winter Quarters, 1920
This circus (as many of you already know) is still running strong
today. Though it's winter quarters have since been moved to Florida,
It's presence in Bridgeport is still very real. Before 2001 Ringling
Brothers & Barnum & Bailey hadn't played Bridgeport in over 50 years.
This was because there was no place for them to set up a show such as
this.

Stratford Ave 1907
Stratford Ave, 1907
100 years later and this once vibrant area is now riddled with crime
and poverty. Rendering it one of the worst neighborhoods in
Bridgeport.

John Street 1919
John Street, 1919

Main Street 1930
Main Street, 1930
This is Downtown Bridgeport. Nowadays it's more of a ghost town.
Though there have been many attempts at revamping this area. Theaters
are reopening, more shopping is available. As well as housing with the
specific purpose of bringing artists into the area. The future here
has a lot of promise.

Seaside Park Flood 1930
Seaside Park Flood, 1930
This is one the areas of Bridgeport that has seen a lot of change over
the last 10 years or so. It's been cleaned up and made much more
friendly to residents that want to enjoy a beautiful coastal park
without having to drive to Fairfield for it. This area is home to many
historical houses that are being restored after their stint as lower
income housing.

Prohibition 1932
Prohibition In Bridgport, 1932
I included this photo for a few reasons. For one I found the photo
quite amusing. Secondly, to illustrate the types of historical houses
previously mentioned. And most importantly, to show that Bridgeport
has a long history of residents taking charge politically. This is
evident in almost a century of worker strikes on local companies for
various labor related issues.
Worker Support 1986
Hotel Workers Support, 1986

Hindenburg 1936
The Hindenburg Over Bridgeport, 1936

GE Strike 1948
General Electric Strike, 1948
These buildings stand to this day on Boston Ave. In the middle of
Bridgeport's notorious east side. These massive buildings are mostly
empty and unused today.

Oil Tanks 1978
Oil Tanks, 1978
To this day there are ghosts of Bridgeport's industrial past creates
the landscape of the city.

Despite the hard times that Bridgeport has seen, especially in the
last 50 or so years. All is not lost. The potential for this city is
seemingly limited only by apathy, fear and of course a lack of
funding.

Bridgeport could again be a great cultural and entertainment
destination for Connecticut. I hope I live to see the day that this
nearly forgotten place is treated with the dignity and respect it so
obviously deserves.

This was originally posted by my bestest friend samystclair. The both of us are born and raised in Bridgeport. x-posted in her journal and mine.
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