- Barnum Museum
Infobox Historic building
name=The Barnum Museum
location_town=820 Main Street
architect=Longstaff and Hurd
P. T. Barnum
engineer=Longstaff and Hurd
structural_system=Stone and terra cotta
style=Byzantine, Islamic, Gothic and Romanesque influences
size=The Barnum Museum is a museum in
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USAwith an extensive collection related to P. T. Barnumand the history of Bridgeport, Connecticuthoused in an historic building on the National Register of Historic Places.
The building was originally contracted for construction by
P. T. Barnumhimself. The funds and land for the building and museum were provided by Barnum to house the work of the Bridgeport Scientific Society and the Fairfield County Historical Society. The structure was completed in 1893 and is home to The Barnum Museum today.
The three story museum in downtown Bridgeport is constructed of stone and
terra cottawith architectural influences ranging from Byzantine to Romanesque architecture. As designed, the building was to house the societies as noted above, with the first floor of the building holding commercial establishments. Relief panels lining the top of the building contain imagery from America's history including Native American, maritime, Civil War and industrial age reliefs. There are also busts interspersed among the relief panels of a Native American, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Elias Howe, Civil War General Winfield Scottand Grover Cleveland.
Before his death, P. T. Barnum bequeathed the sum of US$100,000 for the establishment of the structure. Completed in 1893, the building was originally called The Barnum Institute of Science and History and opened on February 18 of that year. As imagined, it originally operated as a resource library and a lecture hall, attracting such luminaries as the
Wright brothersand Thomas Edisonto speak.
Though designed to include them, no commercial properties ever occupied the first floor of the building. This led to financial instability in the original societies that resided in the building, as it was expected that income from those interests would help support the societies. With the onset of the depression, both societies faced fiscal hardship and were forced to cease operation. In 1933, the City of Bridgeport assumed ownership of the building. In 1936, the city opened the Barnum Museum.
With the building in the hands of the city, it was closed in 1943 for remodeling. It reopened in 1946 as a city hall annex, with the third floor reserved for displaying selected collections from the now defunct societies. The building functioned in this capacity into the 1960s.
In 1965, at the urging of concerned citizens and city officials, plans were set in motion to return the building to its former status as a museum. All city offices housed in the building were removed in 1965. Subsequent to this, the building was repaired and remodeled to support renewed operations as a museum. These efforts included creating spaces to feature exhibits on the history of Bridgeport and exhibits on the life of Barnum. When re-opened as the P. T. Barnum Museum in 1968, it was staffed by employees of the City of Bridgeport.
In 1972, the building was added to the
National Register of Historic Placesunder ID 72001300.
Starting in 1986, the building was managed by The Barnum Museum Foundation. The foundation is a public-private interest group with the goal of maintaining The Barnum Museum. Renovations began in the same year, costing US$7.5 million Subsequent to renovations, the building was re-opened again in June 1989. New galleries were added detailing history related to the local industrial age and the life of P. T. Barnum. As part of the renovation, a 7,000 sq. ft. addition was made to the original building to house rotating exhibitions and events.
Today, the museum is the only museum dedicated to the life of P. T. Barnum. It contains a 1000 square foot miniature replica of his circus hand crafted by William Brinley and including 3000 miniature figures. There is also a miniature replica of his library from his former Iranistan estate and a number of other artifacts and displays of 19th Century life in Bridgeport. Also housed on the property is an exhibit devoted to
Tom Thumb, one of P. T. Barnum's most famous acts. The oldest artifact in the museum is a 2500 year old Egyptian mummy verified as authentic by Quinnipiac Universitypersonnel.
*cite web |url=http://www.volunteersolutions.org/mfcvp/org/219793.html |title=The Barnum Museum |accessdate=2007-03-11 |date=
2006-11-13|work=The Mid-Fairfield County Volunteer Partnership |publisher=Volunteer Solutions
*cite news |first=Priscilla |last=Searles |title=The Greatest Show in Bridgeport |url=http://www.conntact.com/article_page.lasso?id=40439 |work=Business New Haven |publisher=Connecticut Business News |date=
*cite web |url=http://www.infobridgeport.com/Visiting/BarnumMuseum.html |title=The Barnum Museum |accessdate=2007-03-11 |work=The official Downtown Bridgeport web site |publisher=Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District
* [http://www.barnum-museum.org Official website of the museum]
* [http://www.oddthingsiveseen.com/2007/12/barnum-museum.html O.T.I.S.: Odd Things I've Seen]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Barnum Museum (disambiguation) — Barnum Museum is a museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, with a collection related to P. T. Barnum.Barnum Museum may also refer to:* Barnum s American Museum, a defunct New York City museum co owned by Barnum * The Barnum Museum , a story… … Wikipedia
The Barnum Museum — infobox Book | name = The Barnum Museum title orig = translator = image caption = author = Steven Millhauser illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English series = genre = Short stories publisher = Poseidon Press release … Wikipedia
Barnum and Bailey — Phineas Taylor Barnum, Fotografie des Mathew Brady Studios Phineas Taylor Barnum (* 5. Juli 1810 in Bethel, Connecticut; † 7. April 1891 in Bridgeport, Connecticut) war ein US amerikanischer … Deutsch Wikipedia
Barnum's American Museum — was located at the corner of Broadway and Ann Street in New York City from 1841 to 1865. The museum was owned by famous showman P.T. Barnum and his partner and original owner, John Scudder. Prior to their partnership, the museum was known as… … Wikipedia
Barnum's American Museum — im Jahr 1858 Barnum s American Museum war im 19. Jahrhundert ein beliebtes Museum in New York City, das heute nur noch online existiert. 1841 bis 1865 befand sich das Museum für Populärkultur am Broadway in Manhattan. Das Museum wurde von… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Barnum’s American Museum — Barnum s American Museum im Jahr 1858 Barnum s American Museum war im 19. Jahrhundert ein beliebtes Museum in New York City, das heute nur noch online existiert. 1841 bis 1865 befand sich das Museum für Populärkultur am Broadway in Manhattan. Das … Deutsch Wikipedia
Barnum Brown — (February 12, 1873 1963), born February 12, 1873 in Carbondale, Kansas. He was named after the circus showman P.T. Barnum, and was perhaps the most famous fossil hunter of the early twentieth century. Based out of the American Museum of Natural… … Wikipedia
Barnum — ist der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Barnum (Iowa) Barnum (Minnesota) Barnum (New York) Barnum (Texas) Barnum (West Virginia) Barnum (Wisconsin) Barnum (Wyoming) Barnum Corners (New York) Barnum Island (New York) Personen:… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Barnum Brown — (* 12. Februar 1873 in Carbondale, Kansas; † 5. Februar 1963 in New York, N.Y.) war ein US amerikanischer Paläontologe. Er gilt als einer der bekanntesten Dinosaurierjäger des 20. Jahrhunderts. Brown entdeckte mindestens acht zuvor unbekannte… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Barnum — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Barnum es un musical escrito por Mark Bramble, con letras de Michael Stewart y música de Cy Coleman. Está basado en la vida del empresario circense P. T. Barnum, y cubre un periodo de historia desde 1835 hasta 1880… … Wikipedia Español