Perry Memorial Arch in Bridgeport, CT - Then & Now
MCMXVIII is carved into the entablature atop the neoclassical granite archway to mark the date that it was dedicated to honor William Hunt Perry. That’s 1918, in case you’ve forgotten your Roman numerals. Perry had served as superintendent of Wheeler & Wilson Manufacturing, a sewing machine company that was acquired by Singer in 1905. The buyout of his company would make him one of the wealthiest men in the City, on a par with P.T. Barnum.
The arch stands 60 feet tall at the Park Avenue entrance to Seaside Park, one of Bridgeport’s most important public spaces. The park encompasses 300 acres and 2.5 miles of shoreline along Long Island Sound. W.H. Perry had been the President of the commission for Bridgeport Parks. Architect Henry Bacon designed the Arch about 20 years after his design for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The arch was last renovated in 1961.