Court Exchange Building (1896)

November 9th, 2011 Posted in Bridgeport, Commercial Buildings, Renaissance Revival

The Court Exchange Building, at 211 State Street in Bridgeport, is a grandiose commercial structure, built in 1896. It was built by C. Barnum Seeley, the grandson of P.T. Barnum. The great showman, who had no sons, wanted the family name to continue and so he had provided that C. H. Seeley would receive the sum of $25,000, in addition to his portion of his grandfather’s estate, if he added Barnum to his name. For the Court Exchange Building, Seeley hired architect George Longstaff, whose extravagant plans caused building costs to skyrocket. The top floor became the headquarters of the Algonquin Club, which moved to a new clubhouse on Golden Hill Street in 1931. The Club disbanded around 1998.

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