Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Arnold Bernhard Arts and Humanities Center

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Institution Name: University of Bridgeport
Original/Historic Place Name: Arnold Bernhard Arts and Humanities Center
Location on Campus: 84 Iranistan Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
ca. 1969original construction Lyons & Mather
Designer: Lyons & Mather
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: culture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1969academic department building (arts and humanities)
ca. 1969-present (2006)auditorium (Littlefield Recital Hall)
ca. 1969-present (2006)theater (950-seat Andre and Clara Mertens Theater)
ca. 1969-present (2006)museum (art gallery)
ca. 1969-present (2006)academic department building (design program)

While the buildings of the original Marina Park estate may be most memorable to University alumni of the 1950's and 1960's, the contemporary structures erected by the University in the late 1960's and 1970's serve as the central physical symbols of their University for the post-1970 alumni. The Arnold Bernhard Arts and Humanities Center is an imposing nine-floor structure that is stituated behind Waldemere Hall and next to Seaside Park, owned by the city of Bridgeport. The Henry B. duPont III Tower Room offers a magnificent view of the park, which is bordered by Long Island Sound, and of downtown Bridgeport.

The Arnold Bernhard Arts and Humanities Center serves the University and region to showcase performing arts events and visual art exhibitions. The funding and construction of the Center was undertaken as part of a three-phase planning and fundraising program that also produced two residence halls and the Magnus Wahlstrom Library. After completion and opening of the
Bernhard Center, the University experienced its highest enrollments throughout the 1970's.

The Arnold Bernhard Arts and Humanities Center has been in constant use since its opening. However, it is in need of significant repair, notably: HVAC system repair, stage roof repair/replacement, exterior cleaning and painting, courtyard pavers replaced.


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Last update: November 2006