Seawall at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT - Then & Now
In 1867, plans for a seawall and a driving track and walkway were made and drawings for the park were obtained from Frederick Law Olmsted whose firm completed the work. Olmsted’s design for New York’s Central Park won in a competition held nine years earlier. Circus showman and Bridgeport mayor P.T. Barnum donated additional land between Iranistan Avenue, Barnum Dyke, and Waldemere Avenue in 1878, expanding the park to more than 300 acres spread along a 2.5 mile stretch of Long Island Sound. Bridgeport is sometimes referred to as “The Park City”.
The Canon, dating from the 18th Century, was captured during the Spanish- American War in 1898. It was placed along the seawall in 1900 as if guarding the Bridgeport Harbor. The pyramidal stack of cannon balls went missing some time in the 1960’s and had to be replaced.