The Mary & Eliza Freeman Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, owns the historic Mary & Eliza Freeman Houses (circa 1848), located at 360 and 354 Main Street in Bridgeport, CT. The Freeman Center is creating a national African American historic site consisting of a museum and education center, a research/digital humanities center, and housing. The Center’s preservation and restoration plans are designed to act as catalysts to neighborhood revitalization. Of the structures that comprised historic Little Liberia (an early 1800s seafaring community of free people of color) only the homes of sisters Mary & Eliza Freeman survive on original foundations. The sisters were accomplished business women. When Mary Freeman died, the only Bridgeporter of greater wealth was PT Barnum. The Freeman Houses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places for their significance to African Americans and Women. The National Trust for Historic Preservation also placed them on the 2018 list of â€œAmerica’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.â€
The Freeman Center provides public humanities programs and is currently installing an art, architecture, and history exhibit at Housatonic Community College (HCC) in partnership with Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA). The exhibit is entitled “Reimagining Little Liberia: Restoration & Reunion. The first portion of the exhibit is now open to the public next to the HMA. It is funded in part by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and by the Graham Foundation in Chicago.
The Mary & Eliza Freeman Center For History And Community
Mailing Address: 1019 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604