The Stratfield Historic District is named after the Colonial-era farming village of Stratfield. The small farming village was centered at the Stratfield Militia Grounds (presently known as Clinton Park, located at the corner of North and Brooklawn Avenues) mid-way between the larger towns of Stratford and Fairfield, which formed the basis for its name. One of the few extant reminders of Stratfield is the burying ground located at the far corner of Clinton Park, which contains the graves of many early settlers and soldiers of the Revolution.
Stratfield became a favored site for the homes of the city’s leading industrialists and businessmen during the period of tremendous expansion when Bridgeport grew from a smaller, commerce-oriented center to one of the great industrial hubs of the Northeast. The Stratfield neighborhood was considered one of Bridgeport’s best residential districts between the mid 1800s and the 1930s, and its buildings are among the city’s most distinctive representatives of their various architectural styles.
The Stratfield Historic District was entered in the Connecticut State Register of Historic Places by the Connecticut Historical Commission in 1978, making it Connecticut’s 100th historic district. Most of the research required to assemble the District was compiled by Bridgeport historian Charles Brilvitch, with the support of district residents. The National Parks Service added the district to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It became a local historic district in 1991, on the vote of a two-thirds majority of all residents.
As part of the resulting ordinance, the Stratfield Historic District Commission was formed to protect the district’s historic architecture. The commission reviews plans for exterior renovations and modifications to properties in the district, and issues Certificates of Appropriateness that are required by law before such changes can be made.
The Stratfield Historic District Association (SHDA) was formed to support the Commission, and to preserve and protect property values and quality of life in the district. Over the years, the SHDA has had a significant impact, helping to fight off inappropriate large-scale development, combating blight and crime, beautifying our streetscape and educating homeowners.