All programs are free and open to the public

Patrick Foster

Automotive writer and author of numerous books, Patrick Foster, will tell about the American Motor Corporation, a company put together from three other mostly-forgotten brands: Nash, Hudson, and Kaiser.

Joe Barney, Circus Magician

​Joe Barney is a Bridgeport resident and award winning comedy magician. He has performed as a clown and once worked for Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus.  Joe will entertain and talk about the “circus”.

Jay Misencik & Geralene Valentine, Poli's Palace & Majestic Theatres Memories Project

Photographers, Jay and Geralene, will show a "slide presentation" and narrate an interactive discussion with the audience. Their “Poli’s Palace & Majestic Theatres Memories Project” brings to life the two magnificent dormant theatres on Bridgeport’s Main Street. The theatres, built by Sylvester Z. Poli, opened in 1922 and quickly became a downtown social center. The theatres hosted live entertainment and silent movies before offering “talkies” toward the end of the Vaudeville era. They closed in the 1970s.

Shawn Peterson, PEZ Historian

Join the world's first and only official PEZ historian on a journey of sweet proportions for an inside look at the world's most cherished interactive candy. Shawn Peterson is the company archivist and historian at PEZ Candy, Inc. in Orange, Connecticut. He also manages the Visitor Center as well as the content for the company website, and he is responsible for the creative content in the Visitor Center.

​​PEZ is an American classic and a staple of many childhood memories. Yet it originated in Austria, where PEZ began in 1927 as compressed peppermint tablets marketed as an alternative to smoking. ​Upon arrival in the United States in 1952, PEZ quickly took a new direction, adding fruit flavors and three-dimensional character heads to top the dispensers.

Carolyn Ivanoff, "A Hard Road to Travel – From Connecticut to Gettysburg 1863"

Shelton educator and historian, Carolyn Ivanoff, presents “A Hard Road to Travel – From Connecticut to Gettysburg 1863,” the story of four young men, friends from Stratford and Shelton, who served together in Connecticut’s 17th Regiment. She was previously named The Civil War Preservation Trust’s “Teacher of the Year.

Paul Baudner, D.M. Read Department Store

B.C.H.S. member, Paul Baudner, will speak about his extensive D. M. Read Department Store memorabilia collection from the 1940s. D.M. Read was located at the corner of Broad and John Streets and was known at the time for its classy and elegant merchandise. Who can remember the window displays on Thursday nights, or visiting the toy department or Santa at Reads?

Manny Machado, Historic Sanborn Library Building

Demolition of the historic Sanborn Library building, at the highly visible gateway intersection of Bridgeport's Fairfield Avenue and State Street, could happen as soon as November 20, 2018. Timely as it is urgent, this talk by local Architect Manny Machado, with presentation assistance by Boston Planning Consultant Michael Tyrrell, will cover the history of the building, its Architect, and the issues surrounding its potential demolition or development.


Bridgeport’s substantial inventory of aging and decayed buildings weigh down on the city’s image. However, razing and removing the Sanborn Library will only amplify that profile. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, “The Sanborn” was designed by award-winning German-Jewish American Architect Leonard Asheim in 1922. Asheim also designed the well-known Klein Memorial Auditorium, area school buildings, and the West End Congregation/Achavath Achim Synagogue on the national register of historic places.


A candidate for landmark designation through the State Historic Preservation Office, the Sanborn possesses a civic decorum more representative of the Park City in the early 20th Century. Please join us in reflecting on this important landmark whose role could very well be extended into this century.

Rick Abramson,“Penn Station New York: From Corporate Jewel to Corporate Vandalism"

​Retired railroad engineer and historian, Rick Abramson, will present the rich history of “Penn Station New York: From Corporate Jewel to Corporate Vandalism,” from its beginning to its demolition and the reasons for both. The demolition was the start of New York City’s Landmarks Preservation actions.