Hotel Barnum (1928)

September 24th, 2011 Posted in Art Deco, Bridgeport, Hotels

The striking 14-story Art Deco building at 140 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport was built in 1928 as the Hotel Beach. Named for Francis E. Beach, the local merchant who owned the land on which it was constructed, the name was changed within a year to the Hotel Barnum, named after P. T. Barnum. The hotel has an interesting terraced profile and is an Art Deco design, with eclectic elements, including English brickwork, Egyptian detailing and an Italian palazzo front. The building was designed by the firm of Thomas, Martin and Fitzpatrick and was lauded in the press upon its construction for bringing a “cosmopolitan” style to the city. In later years it was a residential hotel and then became an apartment building known as the Barnum House.

  1. 8 Responses to “Hotel Barnum (1928)”

  2. By Ramona on Sep 30, 2011

    Great info, thanks! One of our favorite Connecticut hotels is Spa at Norwich Inn. It’s really nice and immersed in great scenery.

  3. By RICH SATTANNI on May 15, 2015

    Amazingly so the hotel still stands today.I remember it having a coffee shop in the front if I am thinking correctly.MY how times change things.BPT.has seen so many changes.

  4. By C Scammell on Apr 23, 2016

    Scammell was hired to design it China sets in 1928. Emil Schnepf was the designer.

  5. By chris smith on Jan 2, 2017

    Is there now or was there ever an Barnum Arcade under the Barnum Hotel-possibly in the late 60’s to early 70’s?

  6. By T Craig on Jan 2, 2017

    I was born in 1940 and there was a Barnum Arcade on Main St towards John St. when I was a kid. If I remember correctly there was a jewelry store there where I bought my first engagement ring in 1959.

  7. By Bill Coley on Jan 22, 2017

    I remember the arcade – I used to go there as a kid with my parents in the late 1950’s / early 1960’s. There was barber shop in the arcade (where I used to get my hair cut) and a cocktail lounge (I used to like the pink elephants that were painted on the walls there). Does anyone remember a toy store nearby named “Blinn’s”?

  8. By Linda Clark on Feb 10, 2017

    The Arcade was across the street and the back entrance to Howland’s ? was there and quite a few shops. there was a nice mens clothing store and a formal ladies shop also. And a furrier near by. I think I remember dining there as well. I had my wedding at the Barnum Hotel in 1963.It was very formal and elegant at that time. And I definitely remember Blinns!!!!

  9. By john keller on May 8, 2017

    Wonderful info guys!
    My family grew in the area in the thirties and i wander if she is still there what is her purpose and her ‘Name”,thanks, Jack

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