Amazingly, the Barnum Museum has never recovered from the tornado that hit Bridgeport over a year ago. Tomorrow’s gala celebration is an attempt to set Bridgeport’s most treasured downtown institution on the right course.
The museum first opened in 1883, but has been closed since June 24, 2010, just as it was planning a huge yearlong celebration of P.T. Barnum’s 200th birthday. The museum’s namesake, the famous 19th-century showman, was also mayor of Bridgeport for a time.
Reconstruction has been slow, and the museum has had to undertake them without any federal funds, which is strange considering we’re talking about a historical building shuttered by a natural disaster. But even before the storm, there were signs of trouble. Remember when they couldn’t pull together enough funds for a cash register? I mean, can’t the Barnum get a little more love?