When it opened in 1925, Read’s was hailed as the finest department store between New York and Boston. Five stories tall, with green awnings that gave it an instantly identifiable look, Read’s was a luxurious new symbol of Bridgeport’s sophistication and prosperity. But times change: by the 1970s, downtown Bridgeport had fallen on hard times. Read’s closed its doors in 1981 and became emblematic of urban decay.
In the late 1990s, the City of Bridgeport engaged Artspace to transform this urban landmark into an affordable artist live/work project. In collaboration with Mission First Capital Advisors of Washington, DC, Artspace created 61 spacious live/work units on the upper floors and arts-friendly commercial space on the ground floor.
The $14.1 million conversion restored the 121,000-square-foot building to its original appearance. Broad interior corridors serve as informal galleries on each of the upper five floors; a public gallery on the ground floor houses more formal exhibitions. Read’s new tenants were true urban pioneers: until they moved in, downtown Bridgeport’s residential population was zero.
Crosskey and Associates
Mission First Capital Advisors
Apollo Housing Capital, LLC Bank of AmericaBridgeport EconomicDevelopment CorporationCity of BridgeportConnecticut Housing and Finance AuthorityConnecticut Department of Economic and Community DevelopmentFleet BankPeople’s Bank
Bank of AmericaBetty R. Sheffer FoundationBridgeport Economic Development CorporationBridgeport Regional Business CouncilChase BankCity of BridgeportConnecticut Housing and Finance AuthorityD. Culpepper FoundationDowntown Special Services DistrictEdward S. Moore FoundationFairﬁeld County Community FoundationGeneral Electric FundGreater Bridgeport Area FoundationKreitler Foundation Melville Foundation O’Grady Family Foundation People’s BankSouthern Bell Company / SoutheastNew England TelephoneUnited Illuminating
“It’s the best thing that’s happened in this city in years. This has absolutely started the transformation of downtown Bridgeport.”
— John M. Fabrizi, Mayor of Bridgeport
At Read's Artspace, painters, musicians, sculptors, print makers, actors, film producers, graphic designers, photographers, fashion designers, writers, as well as jewelry, mixed media and fiber artists have helped take this fallen symbol of prosperity and turn it into a thriving creative community and "the place where talent lives."
Read's Artspace features 61 spacious live/work units.
6,895 square feet of commercial space occupy the ground floor of Read's Artspace. See the Leasing tab for further information.
For information about live/work units, please contact the Onsite Property Manager or download the application below.
Read's Artspace currently has three commercial spaces available for lease. For information, please contact the Artspace Asset Manager.
Artspace | 250 Third Avenue North, Suite 400 | Minneapolis, MN 55401 | 612.333.9012 ©2014 Artspace Projects, Inc.