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Darien Hall was built as a residence by Levi W. Eaton, president of Bryant Electric Company, in 1893. Eaton was invited to build a home in marina Park by Barnum himself, and the Eaton home faced the elliptical Marina Park circle along with Barnum's fourth estate, Marina. Reacting to real or perceived financial difficulties, Eaton sold the house almost immediately after building it to William A. Grippin. Grippin was president and principal owner of the Bridgeport Malleable Iron Company, president of the Vulcan Ironworks and the North and Judd Manufacturing Company of New Britain, as well as the director of the Century State Bank of New York.
The home was acquired by the University in 1959 and served primarily as a dormitory for law school students. As such, it holds sentimental value for the many law school alumni. However, it is currently in considerable disrepair, having been unoccupied since the early 1990's.
Brilvitch, Charles W. Marina Park Historic District [including University of Bridgeport]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1982.
Halstead Associates. Historic Site Report: Lavinia L. Parmly House. [s.l.: Halstead Associates], 1989.