The Barnum Museum remains closed as we prepare safety measures for CT Self Certification, and ready the site for the major construction work to begin this summer.



The Barnum Museum remains closed as we prepare safety measures for CT Self Certification, and ready the site for the major construction work to begin this summer.

The Barnum Museum is grateful for the continued guidance from Governor Ned Lamont and the Department of Economic and Community Development in an ongoing statewide effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

To our many friends who are impacted by the virus, we extend our caring thoughts and well-wishes as we continue our vigilance to ensure a safe and healthy global community.  We are proud that Connecticut is a national model proving that protective measures are working in the downward-trending of virus cases!  Well done Connecticut!  Thank you, and let’s keep it up!

Phase II has presented unique challenges for hundreds of small businesses across the state, including the Barnum Museum.  In order to fully observe required protocols for safety, the Museum is working collaboratively with cultural colleagues and attractions leaders throughout the world, as well as having ongoing dialog with health and environment professionals to determine a safe path forward.  We ask for your continued patience as we figure out the numerous levels of preparation required for public on-site operations.  However…!

The Barnum Museum is many things!

We haven’t stopped working, connecting or imagining! 

Indeed, in the ongoing midst of covid, the Barnum Museum and Vision Team has continued to work on the extraordinary restoration of the glorious historic building!  I am thrilled to tell you that architectural drawings have been submitted to the CT State Historic Preservation Office and Dept. of Economic and Community Development for review and compliance with the National Parks Service and Dept. of the Interior guidelines for nationally significant sites.  Upon approval, the Barnum Museum will officially move into the largest, most comprehensive historic restoration of the 1893 landmark in its history!  We look forward to scaffolding going up in the upcoming months and we welcome you to watch the ongoing progress reports that we will be regularly posting!  We welcome you to be a part of this special moment in Bridgeport, CT history!

We ask for your continued patience as we continue to figure out our small, indoor space.  This isn’t easy.

Though many sites across Connecticut have outdoor opportunities for guests, the Barnum Museum is situated squarely in the heart of Bridgeport’s urban downtown and surrounded by private property.  As we have no control over the grounds that surround the Museum footprint, we are working to reimagine the small interior space.  Unfortunately, the complexity of rearranging a museum exhibition is not as simple as moving tables and chairs six feet apart.  To comply with distancing orders, artwork and artifacts need to be relocated, dismantling and reconstruction of new exhibition sets is necessary, educational materials and their delivery need recreation, and tiny public areas are no longer usable.  All that, coupled with the capacity and regional (we have a national audience draw) limitations, reservation management, enhanced security and elevated cleaning protocols, and loss of our treasured volunteer front-liners, the Barnum Museum is tirelessly working to determine the safest and most economically plausible reopening timeframe.

So, for your safety, the safety of staff, and in observance of Governor Lamont’s Sector Rules/Self Certification, we do not have site reopening date confirmed.  But we are here for you.  Answering questions, having conversations, researching, writing, building a better, more engaging and innovative media platform, and keeping the massive restoration and re-envisioning alive and ready for you when we’re all finally past our COVID epoch in time.

We are the change we want to see.

Yes, the world has changed over the last four months.  We walk in the world with new eyes, new ways of thinking, and new ways of processing and responding to our environment.  It continues to be a rollercoaster, but as a durable species, we rise.  Whether it be the flourishing of our new zoom friends, enhanced augmented reality opportunities on our iPhones, the explosion of LinkedIn connections, or just our new-found gratitude and compassion for our global family, it is unquestionable that the world has shrunk again and together we are finding solutions to carry forward.

Barnum wrote in his autobiography: “I believe this world is in a great measure what we choose to make it, and I therefore propose to point out so far as I can the methods that are best calculated to enable us to “get on” in it and obtain comparative happiness.”

As we all continue to ‘figure it out’, we wish for you and your family to remain happy.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us!  The ‘building’ might not be open, but the larger-than-life BARNUM will never be closed!

Stay well, stay happy,
Barnum Museum Strong!