Apply Now

Read's Artspace

Bringing Vitality to Downtown Bridgeport

1042 Broad Street, Bridgeport, CT, 06604




Resident Artist

Meeting in Gallery

Studio Interior

Resident Artist





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.

Development Cost

$14.1 million


Crosskey and Associates

Development Consultant

Mission First Capital Advisors

Learn More
About the Neighborhood
What's happening in Downtown Bridgeport.
Our Thanks to...

Apollo Housing Capital, LLC Bank of America
Bridgeport Economic
Development Corporation
City of Bridgeport
Connecticut Housing and Finance Authority
Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development
Fleet Bank
People’s Bank


Bank of America
Betty R. Sheffer Foundation
Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation
Bridgeport Regional Business Council
Chase Bank
City of Bridgeport
Connecticut Housing and Finance Authority
D. Culpepper Foundation
Downtown Special Services District
Edward S. Moore Foundation
Fairfield County Community Foundation
General Electric Fund
Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation
Kreitler Foundation Melville Foundation O’Grady Family Foundation People’s Bank
Southern Bell Company / Southeast
New England Telephone
United Illuminating