I’ve driven past this house so many times and it has always fascinated me. Who lives there? Who lived there? Those questions always went through my head. So I did a little digging.
The house is definitely in need of some TLC, but beyond that you can still see its beauty. The beauty can be found in the whimsical wrought iron balconies and the stunning Spanish tile roof. You can’t help but imagine what type of family lived here? What happened to them?
Upon visiting Whitepages.com, I was able to see that there were no current residents. Even so, the grass is always cut, so it hadn’t been completely forgotten about. My continued search led to more details about the house.
The house was built in 1916 and has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. There are 12 rooms in approximately 3,153 square feet. I so desperately wanted to see what was on the inside. You can’t help but fall in love with this historic home. All of my research was leading me to what type of place Bridgeport, Connecticut was like in 1916.
More details emerged after I stumbled upon Livng Places’ website. Here I was able to find details about a neighborhood in Bridgeport, Connecticut named Stratfield.
“The Stratfield neighborhood was considered one of Bridgeport’s best residential districts between the 1870s and the 1920s, and its buildings are among the city’s most distinctive representatives of their various architectural styles.”
“By 1900 Stratfield was established as the most exclusive of Bridgeport’s residential neighborhoods, replacing Washington Park, Golden Hill, Seaside Park, and other aging sections. Clinton and Brooklawn Avenues, themselves lined with stately homes, became the main thoroughfare between downtown Bridgeport and an estate district that had begun to develop just north of the district, around Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield.”
“Spanish Colonial houses are usually similar in form to Colonial Revival examples, differing with their characteristic hip roofs covered with glazed red tile and stucco walls.”
“Stratfield was associated with the lives of persons of both local and national significance. P.T. Barnum, the showman, lived adjacent to the district on Fairfield Avenue and used part of the land along Clinton Avenue (then known as Stratfield Road) as a game park in the 1850s. He later became one of the neighborhood’s developers.”
“Residents of note in the early-20th century included Joseph P. Friable, president of the Frisbie Pie Company (it is alleged that the tin plates used by this company were the basis for the modern “frisbee”) and Edward R. Ives, a prominent manufacturer of model railroads in the first half of the present century.”
My next stop was a website about historic buildings in Connecticut. There I learned that the house was built by a Gerhard F. Drouve. The book “History of Bridgeport and Vicinity, Volume 1 (1917) is quoted and brings to light more information about Gerhard F. Drouve.
“The G. Drouve Company, 40 Tulip Street, are manufacturers of the Anti-Pluvius puttyless skylights. The firm was incorporated in May, 1896. The officers of this concern are: G. F. Drouve, president and treasurer; William V. Dee, secretary.”
Gerhard F. Drove is found in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office as filing a patent for a skylight in Jan. 29, 1908. His business manufactured anti-pluvius puttyless skylights. He also designed a “Straight-Push” Sash Operator. I have no idea what that was but from what I’ve seen, he was an inventor.
An inventor named Gerhard F. Drouve lived in this Spanish Colonial Revival house that was originally part of the Stratfield Neighborhood in what was one of the best residential districts of Bridgeport between the 1870s and 1920s.
As I was preparing to publish this post, the house went on the market! So it’s now possible to see how the house looks on the inside. It definitely needs some TLC now but just imagine what it must have been like when Gerhard F. Drouve lived there.