Seaside Park was the first park designed by Olmsted and Vaux outside of metropolitan New York.
About Seaside Park
Shortly after the Civil War, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux transformed the lands around Bridgeport Harbor, Long Island Sound and Black Rock Harbor into what is today— Seaside Park. Seaside was the first park designed by Olmsted and Vaux outside of metropolitan New York.
The original 1867 park was 44-acres with circular drives and grassy lawns to be enjoyed by the city’s citizens. Today, the park is much different, stretching along 2.5 miles of waterfront and featuring 25-acres of lush lawns, shady glades, sports fields and hiking trails. Concerts and local music performances frequently fill the park.
Many of the later changes to the Olmsted plan were due to Bridgeport resident and famed impresario P. T. Barnum who constructed a vast estate near the park.
Two decades after the original plans, Olmsted returned to the city with his stepson and partner John Charles Olmsted to design Beardsley Park (Project No. 00691), making Bridgeport the only city of its size with more than one Olmsted park.
Today, Seaside Park offers a powerful story of renewal. Thanks to the excitement of the 2022 Olmsted 200 bicentennial and the work of local professionals, generous non-profit donors, the City Parks Commission and University of Bridgeport, the Olmsted-Vaux design has been re-discovered and authenticated. New benches and allees of plane and tupelo trees are refreshing the landscape and the new Seaside Gateway Trail offers an inviting place for all people to come together in nature, as Olmsted and Vaux intended.
Shared SpacesSpotlight on… Seaside Park
Olmsted & the Olmsted Firm
Creating a Seaside Wellness Trail at Bridgeport’s Seaside ParkIn a program sponsored by the National Association for Olmsted Parks (now Olmsted Network), Architect Barbara L. Geddis, FAIA and...
Spotlight on… Trinity CollegeIn post-Civil War America, Frederick Law Olmsted believed universities should play a critical role in advancing democracy. As he saw...
Conservation & Advocacy
Preserving Olmsted’s Forest“Goodwin’s Wilds” includes an area of old-growth floodplain and riparian forest located on the North Branch of the Park River...
Olmsted-Beil Farmhouse is where Frederick Law Olmsted conducted the agricultural and landscaping experiments that would later influence his designs.
Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, was beloved by Olmsted and revered as one of his most significant projects.