Barnum Museum

Project Overview & Specifications

  • Project Location:
    Bridgeport, CT
  • Project Architect:
    Swanke Hayden Connell Architects
  • Owner:
    Barnum Museum Foundation, Inc.
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2015
  • Cost Range:

The Barnum Museum, located on Main Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is an historic museum dedicated to the famous P.T. Barnum. The building was contracted by P.T. Barnum himself and he built it to house both the Bridgeport Scientific Society and the Fairfield County Historical Society.

Completed in 1893 and originally serving as the Institute of Science and History, the building has seen the likes of the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison as guest speakers. It was later purchased by the city, and from 1946-1965 it was used as a city hall annex. Concerned citizens and city officials pushed for the building to be returned to its museum status. Following a tornado in 2010 and Hurricanes Irene and Sandy the following two years, the museum was severely damaged. Since then, it has undergone numerous renovations and restorations. It is #72001300 on the National Register of Historic Places.

Kronenberger & Sons made extensive structural stabilizations to the museum in order to combat the severe storm damage. We performed exterior masonry repointing and repair. Interior structural work included selective demolition and removal of old HVAC. We then had to lift in the sister timbers from the street below and cut them down to size in order to replicate the historic ribs. The ribs were then installed followed by the installation of Grid 8 blocking supports. We installed vertical post supports at the top of the dome into the top of the primary rib system to strengthen and tie everything together.


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